Kendall Graveman throws shutout in A’s win at Chicago

CHICAGO — Growing up in Alabama, Kendall Graveman was a big fan of Greg Maddux, naturally, and the A’s second-year starter long had wanted to talk pitching with the Hall of Famer. A’s director of employee assistance programs Dr. Marc Stickland knows Maddux and set it up, so Tuesday, Graveman chatted with the Cubs and Braves great. Three days later, Graveman threw a “Maddux,” a complete game under 100 pitches, needing just 98 to earn his first career shutout in Oakland’s 9-0 victory over the White Sox on Friday. Chicago didn’t get a runner past first as Oakland ended a five-game losing streak. Graveman was helped by some strong defense, including two double plays, one a slick, diving unassisted double play by first baseman Yonder Alonso on a sharp grounder along the line by Tim Anderson in the seventh. Over his past 15 games, Graveman is 8-2 with a 3.47 ERA, and he has been the only constant in a rotation devastated by injuries and the trade of top starter Rich Hill. Shields walked Max Muncy with the bases loaded in the second, and Marcus Semien scored from first when shortstop Tim Anderson made a throwing error on Ryon Healy’s grounder in the fifth.

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