It's the first playoff series the A's have won since they swept the Minnesota Twins in the 2006 ALDS. They had gone five straight rounds without advancing.
But if you ask manager Bob Melvin, the series was never in doubt.
"This is a team that expects to win," Melvin said, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. "When we came to spring training, we expected to be in this spot. Shoot, you have to have a little confidence to be successful."
Both squads went to the bullpen in the early going. White Sox starter Dane Dunning was removed with runners on the corners and two outs in the first inning, while A's right-hander Mike Fiers left after allowing one run on five hits in 1 2/3 frames.
The loss was a bitter pill to swallow for the up-and-coming White Sox, who saw rookie left-hander Garrett Crochet leave with forearm tightness after facing two batters and Eloy Jimenez exit after aggravating his foot injury on a third-inning double.
Chicago had its fair share of highlights. Rookie slugger Luis Robert hit a mammoth 487-foot home run, and shortstop Tim Anderson notched three more base hits, joining Lou Brock as the only players to ever have three consecutive three-hit games in the postseason.
But the A's kept fighting back. Sean Murphy mashed a two-run homer in a four-run fourth. Oakland plated two more in the fifth and let the bullpen do the rest.
A day after closer Liam Hendriks threw 49 pitches in possibly his shakiest outing of the year, the right-hander returned to record the series-clinching save with three strikeouts in the ninth.
Oakland will face the Houston Astros in a best-of-five set beginning next week. The A's won the season series 7-3, outscoring Houston 38-25 in the process.