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By JAY COHEN
AP Baseball Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — Michael Kopech got the ball to Craig Kimbrel, and he handed it over to Liam Hendriks.
The Chicago White Sox like their chances when they go to their bullpen.
Kimbrel worked out of a jam in the eighth inning and Hendriks got the save against his former team, leading the White Sox to a 5- 2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.
Eloy Jimenez hit a tiebreaking RBI single and Seby Zavala drove in two runs as Chicago improved to an AL-best 40-22 at home. It was the first meeting between the teams since the A’s eliminated the White Sox in the first round of the playoffs last year.
Luis Robert homered, and Dallas Keuchel (8-6) pitched five innings of two-run ball in his first win since July 9.
Matt Chapman homered for the third straight day for the A’s, and Mark Canha had an RBI single. Frankie Montas (9-9) was charged with three runs and eight hits in five innings.
“I felt like I was fighting with my mechanics the whole game,” Montas said. “I didn’t have my command.”
The game was tied at 2 when Jimenez’s fifth-inning liner went off Chapman’s glove at third and into left field, driving in Tim Anderson from second. The AL Central leaders added another run in the sixth on a safety squeeze bunt by Zavala.
That was enough for Chicago’s bullpen after a couple of rocky outings of late.
After Kopech threw two hitless innings, Kimbrel powered his way out of trouble while striking out the side in the eighth. With one out and runners on second and third after Jed Lowrie’s ground-rule double, Kimbrel fanned Chapman and Josh Harrison to reach 1,001 Ks for his career.
Hendriks then struck out the side in order for his 27th save in 33 opportunities. The right-hander agreed to a $54 million,
three-year contract with Chicago in January after spending the last five seasons in Oakland.
Hendriks was hit hard in his previous two outings, surrendering three homers and six earned runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Yankees. Kimbrel, who was acquired in a July 30 trade with the Cubs, returned to the mound after he allowed Aaron Judge’s leadoff homer in the eighth inning of Saturday’s 7-5 loss to New York.