OAKLAND—Jon Garland stopped Oakland's eight-game winning streak Saturday night in what probably will be his final achievement before being named to the American League All-Star team Sunday.
Garland became the major leagues' first 13-game winner by weaving through seven innings to give the Sox a 5-3 victory before a sellout crowd of 45,712 at McAfee Coliseum.
"I had no doubt in my mind he should have been there two starts ago," manager Ozzie Guillen said of Garland's probable All-Star selection.
Garland helped the Sox snap a three-game losing streak against the Athletics, who lost to the Sox for only the fourth time in their past 23 meetings in Oakland.
The Sox's offense, which scored only 16 runs in its previous six games, showed its lack of impatience. But Joe Crede came through by smacking the 79th pitch from Oakland starter Kirk Saarloos over the left-center wall to snap a 3-3 tie in the seventh.
"This is what it's going to take to get us over the hump here," Crede said of the Sox's past struggles in Oakland.
Crede, who was a .161 hitter with runners in scoring position and two out entering Saturday's game, also chipped in with a two-out RBI single that capped a two-run rally in the second.
"The concentration level is higher when the stakes are higher," Crede said.
Garland and Mark Buehrle (10-1), who starts in Sunday's series finale, have the credentials to be named AL All-Stars. That would mark the first time in 11 years that two Sox pitchers would be picked to the All-Star team.
Wilson Alvarez and Jason Bere, along with designated hitter Frank Thomas, represented the Sox in the 1994 All-Star Game.
Garland and Buehrle each would receive a $15,000 bonus if they make the All-Star team, a perk that could increase by $10,000 if either is selected to start the game.
Garland became the third Sox pitcher to win 13 wins before the All-Star break since 1975 and the first since Jack McDowell was 13-6 in the first half in 1993.
Garland is one of only six pitchers since 1969 to win his first eight decisions and the first since Montreal's Pedro Martinez in 1997.
Garland didn't dwell too much on earning two of the Sox's past four triumphs at Oakland, or his probable selection to the All-Star game.
"It's up to the managers," he said.
But Garland didn't take any shortcuts in winning his 13th game. His biggest achievement came in the sixth after loading the bases with no outs. He gave up a sacrifice fly to Eric Chavez that allowed the Athletics to tie the game 3-3 but retired Scott Hatteberg on a foul pop and Bobby Kielty on a grounder to halt the rally.
"I've pitched better in those situations than in past years because when there are runners on base, I don't worry about them," Garland said.
Crede followed with his second homer in three games.
The Sox fielded a lineup that didn't include second baseman Tadahito Iguchi or right fielder Jermaine Dye. But Willie Harris, Iguchi's replacement, hit a one-out single in the sixth, stole second and scored on Frank Thomas' single.
The Sox added an insurance run in the ninth on a double by Timo Perez, Dye's replacement.
Cliff Politte and Dustin Hermanson retired the final six batters, with Hermanson converting his 19th save in 20 opportunities.