CHICAGO -- It turns out the A's do not have a patent on the walk-off celebration.
They wound up on the receiving end of some late-inning heartbreak Friday, as reliever Pat Neshek allowed Jordan Danks' ninth-inning home run that propelled the Chicago White Sox to a 4-3 victory at U.S. Cellular Field.
The A's season, to this point, has been defined by their major league-best 13 walk-off victories. But Danks picked the perfect time for his first big league career homer, knocking the first pitch from Neshek (1-1) over the wall in right field for the last of Chicago's four solo shots on the night.
Three came on the first pitch of an at-bat, which would be surprising if it was any team but the White Sox, a free-swinging bunch that isn't real fond of working the count.
"It was just a typical fastball," A's catcher Derek Norris said of Neshek's pitch to Danks. "(Neshek) is very deceptive. If I could go back, I wouldn't change the pitch call -- maybe just the location."
It was hardly the way the A's wanted to begin this six-game trip through Chicago and Kansas City, and they lost for just the second time in their past 13 one-run games.
While the outcome was decided in the ninth inning, the A's left themselves vulnerable by failing to pounce on White Sox starter Gavin Floyd when they had him reeling.
Brandon Moss' two-run homer gave the A's a 3-0 lead in the second, and they got good wood on Floyd early. But the right-hander
Floyd stuck around for six-plus innings and allowed seven hits with three walks.
"You look at a lot of things over the course of a game," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We got off to a good start, we had some momentum. The long ball ended up beating us."
Brandon McCarthy made his first start for the A's since going on the disabled list June 24 with a strained right shoulder. He was sharp for the most part, allowing six hits and just one walk over six-plus innings.
But three mistakes turned into three homers -- A.J. Pierzynski got him in the second, Alexei Ramirez went deep in the fourth, and Dayan Viciedo tied the game with a seventh-inning shot on a 1-2 pitch.
With a strong wind blowing toward right much of the game, any deep fly ball had a chance to find the seats. That's not the case at the Oakland Coliseum.
"In Oakland, you kind of get rewarded for making a bad pitch sometimes," McCarthy said. "Sometimes they get rewarded here for just squaring the ball up a little bit. Still, they weren't good pitches."
Pierzynski glared at McCarthy after the pitcher hit him in the side with a 2-0 pitch in the sixth. It appeared it might have been retaliation for Yoenis Cespedes getting plunked by Floyd in the fifth.
Both benches were warned after Pierzynski was hit, but things didn't escalate from there.
Milone was scheduled to start Saturday, but Travis Blackley will pitch in his place. Milone is being skipped for one full turn through the rotation, so his next start won't come until Friday at home against Cleveland.
Parker was scheduled to go Sunday but instead will start Tuesday's series opener at Kansas City. Bartolo Colon is now pitching Sunday, and he'll still be on his regular four days' rest because the A's were off Thursday.
"Even though their last few outings haven't been their best, this isn't about performance," Melvin said. "It's about giving them a break."
Milone has allowed 24 hits and 16 earned runs over his past three starts (19 innings), and Parker has surrendered 25 hits and 13 earned runs (172/3 innings).
"Tommy and I, we've kind of struggled of late," Parker said. "I think both of us could tell you we need a little extra time. We haven't pitched at this level at this point of the year."
A's managing partner Lew Wolff declined to comment on whether he tried to get the topic on the agenda.
The A's have been in limbo going on 31/2 years regarding their desire to build a new ballpark in San Jose. The Giants hold territorial rights to San Jose and are opposed to the A's moving there.
Those rights can only be overturned with a 75 percent vote from the 30 major league owners.
Wolff was asked if he uses these meetings to try to lobby his fellow owners on why the A's so badly need a new stadium.
"It's up to the commissioner's office," Wolff said. "This is a process that unfortunately is taking longer than I hoped, but it's a fair process."
A's (Travis Blackley 4-3) at Chicago White Sox (Francisco Liriano 3-10), 4:10 p.m. CSNCA