CHICAGO (AP) — Just when the Chicago White Sox thought they began to turn the corner, they got walked on in their own neighborhood.
The Los Angeles Angels swept a doubleheader from the White Sox on Tuesday with a 7-5 victory in the nightcap. Kole Calhoun and Howie Kendrick had a pair of hits and two RBIs apiece. White Sox pitchers aided their cause considerably with 13 bases on balls and one hit-batsman in the doubleheader.
In the opener, Angels starter Garrett Richards limited the home team to a pair of hits in an 8-4 win. Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton hit home runs, while White Sox rookie Jose Abreu also went deep to become the first player to reach 26 homers in 70 games in major league history.
“All you’re doing is giving them free base runners,” said frustrated Chicago manager Robin Ventura, whose team had come off three consecutive wins at first-place Toronto. “You want them to work for it. ... You get guys who can swing the bats like those guys, and sometimes you get a little bit picky and try to be too fine and are just off the plate. Just off the plate is still a ball.”
Once more, ineffective starting pitchers unraveled the White Sox in both games. After Hector Noesi labored through five innings in the first game, putting an added burden in the bullpen, career minor leaguer Scott Carroll did no better in the nightcap. In six innings, he gave up six runs on 10 hits and three walks. He also hit a batter.
“Every time I go out there, I want to compete,” said Carroll, 29, the latest candidate to fill the final berth in the rotation. “Obviously, I didn’t compete tonight, but I definitely want to take control of that spot and show them that I have the talent to do so.”
The seventh inning was indicative of the White Sox’s day. After Carroll (2-5) walked two batters, reliever Jake Petricka issued an intentional walk to Hamilton that loaded the bases and an unintentional one to Kendrick that forced a run home.
White Sox starters ranked 13th in earned run average (4.58) and 10th in innings pitched (5.8 per game) at the start of the day.
“It’s something that we’ll continue to work on,” Carroll said. “We can’t do that at this level because the players are too talented and make you pay for it. It’s about being aggressive, filling the zone with as many strikes as possible and understanding who’s at bat because some guys are swingers more than others.”
Angels counterpart Jared Weaver (9-6) was hit hard but got the victory. He allowed five runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings before five relievers finished the job.
“We kept putting the pressure on,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think after you win that first game of a doubleheader, it’s really hard to win two. When we came out and put those runs right up on them early, that was huge for us.”
In the second inning, Los Angeles manufactured three runs on four consecutive singles and a fielder’s choice. Kendrick, C.J. Cron and Grant Green each had an RBI in the rally.
Chicago got two runs back with Conor Gillaspie’s first home run of the season.
In the fifth, Calhoun stroked Carroll’s 1-0 pitch for a home run, scoring Green ahead of him for a 5-2 lead. One inning later, Kendrick scored on Hank Conger’s single.
The White Sox cut the deficit to 6-5 in the sixth on Gillaspie’s RBI single and Dayan Viciedo’s two-run homer.
Two of the brightest stars in the American League traded three-run home runs in the first game. The difference Mike Trout received plenty of help from his Los Angeles teammates, while Jose Abreu received virtually none. The White Sox mustered only two other hits against starter Garrett Richards (9-2) and a pair of relievers.
Chicago starter Hector Noesi (2-6) took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, when Trout and Albert Pujols hit back-to-back homers to give the Angels a 4-3 lead they never relinquished. Two innings later, Josh Hamilton also went deep, his first home run since June 3.
NOTES: Ventura said LHP Chris Sale (7-1, 2.30 ERA) is a worthy All-Star candidate despite spending a month on the disabled list. “You’re looking at a guy at the top of his game,” Ventura said. “His numbers prove it.” ... Abreu extended his hitting streak to 16 games in the nightcap, the longest by a White Sox rookie since Ross Gload finished the 2004 season on a 16-game run. ... Acquired from Boston earlier in the day, LHP Rich Hill failed to retire any of the four batters he faced. The 34-year-old veteran had a 3-3 record and 3.23 ERA in 25 relief appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket.