A's batter Buehrle as Cust homers for second straight game

CHICAGO (AP) -- Joe Blanton entered Friday night fresh off a loss that made the A's starter the American League's first 11-game loser. Mark Buehrle of the White Sox came in on a roll over the last six weeks.

Just figures that it would be Blanton, not Buehrle, who pitched a gem.

Jack Cust hit a two-run homer, part of a 17-hit outburst by Oakland, and Blanton went seven solid innings in 7-1 win over the White Sox.

After allowing seven runs over four innings in a 11-1 loss to the Giants on Sunday, Blanton (5-11) held the White Sox to one run on six hits. He had five strikeouts and allowed two walks.

"It's nice to rebound after an outing I had last time. Now I just have to put a couple in a row together and keep things rolling," Blanton said. "I kind of had all four pitches going a little bit. I kind of a made it a point to establish that I can throw any pitch at any time, whether it's curveball, slider, change or fastball."

The White Sox dropped their second straight after winning seven consecutive games, and their lead in the AL Central dropped to one game with the Minnesota Twins' victory over Cleveland.

Buehrle (6-7) entered the game 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA in his last five starts, lasting at least seven innings each town, but ran into trouble early.

He allowed a leadoff single to Brown in the fourth inning, then on the next pitch, Cust tagged Buehrle for an opposite-field homer to left. It was Cust's second in as many games and 15th of the season.

Jack Hannahan added an RBI double in the sixth inning and Ryan Sweeney chased Buehrle by driving in Hannahan on a single.

"It was a great game for us offensively. We have a lot of guys hurt and banged up and some other guys are getting a chance to play," said Oakland manager Bob Geren.

Buehrle allowed four runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked three.

Wes Bankston, who had his first major league hit on Thursday night, had an RBI single in the seventh inning off White Sox reliever Nick Masset. Donnie Murphy added more insurance with an RBI-single in the seventh and RBI-double in the ninth to make it 7-1.

"You have to make the best out of your opportunity. This is my first opportunity to be in the big leagues and I'm going to take advantage of it," said Bankston, who got called up when Eric Chavez went on the disabled list.

Brown, Cust and Bankston -- the four, five and six hitters -- combined to go 8-for-15 with four runs and three RBIs.

Game notes
The White Sox wore camouflage jerseys in honor of troops stationed overseas. ... White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is optimistic that closer Bobby Jenks will be available by Sunday. Jenks has not pitched since Sunday because of soreness below his left shoulder. ... Before the game, the Athletics placed reliever Keith Foulke on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder. They recalled left-hander Jerry Blevins from Triple-A Sacramento to take Foulke's roster spot. ... Oakland SS Bobby Crosby has a strained right hamstring. He missed his second straight game and is not expected to play Saturday Geren said the disabled list is a possibility after Crosby struggled in batting practice. ... Oakland had a season-high 20 hits against Los Angeles Angels on May 1.