OAKLAND—It has become a way of life for the White Sox that no lead at McAfee Coliseum is safe, no matter how large or how early.
They proved that Friday night in a manner that reinforced manager Ozzie Guillen's concerns during a pregame scouting meeting.
Juan Uribe's dropped foul pop led to Jack Cust's two-run home run in the sixth inning, and Cust haunted the Sox again in the eighth when he ripped an 0-2 pitch off reliever Octavio Dotel for a game-tying homer.
The damage became complete when pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki hit a two-run home run off reliever D.J. Carrasco with one out in the bottom of the ninth to give Oakland a 6-4 win over the Sox.
The last time the Sox played in Oakland — Aug. 16, 2007 — Suzuki belted a walk-off homer to complete a three-game sweep.
"You don't breathe here until the game is over," Guillen said.
Pinch-hitter Emil Brown led off the ninth for the A's with a double off left-hander Horacio Ramirez.
Dotel's failures, however, deprived Gavin Floyd of his 13th victory and helped drop the Sox into a tie for first place with Minnesota in the American League Central.
It was an awful loss for the Sox, who are now 6-28 at the Coliseum since 2001 despite mounting a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
The Sox's offense went on a siesta until the eighth, when Carlos Quentin hit his 33rd homer to expand the lead to 4-2 and move him into a tie for the major-league lead with Philadelphia's Ryan Howard.
Floyd pitched in plenty of traffic, and his pitch count swelled to 82 after only four innings.
Floyd allowed four hits in the first two innings but escaped unharmed. In fact, Oakland put the leadoff batter on base in each of the first four innings but didn't score.
Unfortunately for Floyd, he ran into trouble after Uribe charged but dropped Frank Thomas' foul pop for an error. Thomas followed with his second hit of the game, and Cust launched a two-run home run to cut the Sox's lead to 3-2.
After Floyd retired Bobby Crosby on a line drive to center, Guillen brought in Matt Thornton.
Thornton retired all four batters he faced, and the Sox expanded their lead on Quentin's homer.
The Sox missed another chance to add insurance when pinch-runner Brian Anderson broke toward second base as Jerry Blevins committed an errant pickoff throw to first.
With the ball rolling into the Sox's bullpen, third-base coach Jeff Cox waved Anderson toward home. But first baseman Daric Barton's throw beat a sliding Anderson for the final out of the inning.
That shortcoming proved costly, as Mark Ellis and Cust tied the game on solo home runs. Cust's homer came on an 0-2 pitch with the left-handed Ramirez warming up.
Guillen fielded a lineup that didn't included Ken Griffey Jr. against Dallas Braden, one of four consecutive left-handers the Sox will face.
Guillen plans to give Jim Thome a rest in Saturday's game against Greg Smith.