Walks come back to hurt Gonzalez, A's
Three of lefty's six free passes score in five-plus innings
OAKLAND -- Gio Gonzalez was keeping his mind loose. He wasn't worrying about the names of hitters, just hitters in general. He was only focusing on things he could control.
Gonzalez let that control get away a bit on Saturday.
The 23-year-old rookie surrendered a season-high six walks -- three of which went on to score -- in an 8-1 loss to the White Sox that saw infielder Adam Kennedy snap a nine at-bat hitless streak by tying an Oakland record with five hits.
"Six walks -- you can't hide that," Gonzalez said. "It wasn't like I was missing by a mile. I was missing by a hair. It was one of those days. You can't do anything about it."
Gonzalez (4-3) allowed six runs (five earned) in five-plus innings. He took the hill on the heels of an impressive four-start stretch against the Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Orioles in which he went 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA.
"It was a good little run," Gonzalez said. "I hit a little wall. I need to move over it, move forward and get ready for the next game."
Gonzalez has been working on managing his emotions. He thinks he dealt with them well and was able to identify when they got him into trouble.
"Sometimes they got away," he said, "but I'd call [Kurt] Suzuki out and tell him to keep me composed."
"I think Gio will help them in the future," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He's from Miami, so I root for him. He looked better than he did the last time we saw him. This kid is good."
Cruising through two innings, Gonzalez hit a roadblock in the third when Jayson Nix hit a two-run homer off the left-field foul pole. Gonzalez went on to walk five of the next 16 batters he faced.
"It could be a coincidence," A's manager Bob Geren said. "Or he was trying to be too careful. ... He needs to stay aggressive."
More trouble came Gonzalez's way the following inning. A.J. Pierzynski singled, then Carlos Quentin did the same to move him to third and Quentin took second on a throwing error by Ryan Sweeney. Alexei Ramirez singled home Pierzynski and Nix's sacrifice fly scored Quentin to put the White Sox up, 4-0.
Gonzalez was removed after walking Pierzynski and Quentin to open the sixth.
Gordon Beckham brought both runners home with a double off Santiago Casilla before scoring on a single by Jermaine Dye as Chicago pushed its lead to 7-1.
Jim Thome gave the White Sox their final run, hitting a solo home run off Edgar Gonzalez to left to open the ninth. The homer was the 563rd of his career, tying Reggie Jackson for 12th all-time.
It was the first home run Gonzalez allowed in 45 1/3 innings this season, which was the second-most innings pitched in the Majors without giving up a homer.
White Sox starter Gavin Floyd struck out eight in seven innings to improve to 10-7.
"He pitched very well," Geren said. "He had his two-seam and a cutter going. Slider, curve -- he commanded all his pitches well."
Oakland had its share of chances against Floyd, though.
The A's tried piecing a two-out rally together in the third. Kennedy started the effort with an opposite-field single, then Rajai Davis stretched a single into a double before Suzuki walked to load the bases.
Scott Hairston then sent a 1-2 curveball to deep left-center but only had warning-track power as Alex Rios came up with it in front of the 388-foot marker.
Oakland had another opportunity in the fifth. Kennedy and Davis delivered back-to-back singles to open the frame. Suzuki lined to right before Hairston grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
Mark Ellis went 2-for-4, driving home Oakland's only run with a two-out double in the fourth. He's hit safely in 18 of his past 19 games, batting .394 over that span.
Davis went 2-for-5, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games.
Adam Loberstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.