Saturday, April 16, 2011
Posted: 8:29 p.m. Updated: 9:46 p.m.
With six commemorative game balls sitting in his locker, Tyler Chatwood appeared stoic on the outside.
On the inside, he was ecstatic.
Chatwood pitched seven impressive innings for his first major league win and Hank Conger hit a three-run homer to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Chicago White Sox 7-2 on Saturday.
"What you saw tonight is what we saw in Tyler," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He had a couple of good changeups and some good curveballs, but everything is set up on his fastball command."
With starters Scott Kazmir and Joel Pineiro on the disabled list, the Angels have turned to Chatwood, who dropped a 4-0 decision to the Cleveland Indians in his debut Monday.
"I felt better today," Chatwood said. "Nerves were gone. I just felt more confident."
After the start was delayed more than 2 hours by rain, the 21-year-old rookie allowed just one run and five hits. The lone blemish was Carlos Quentin's fifth-inning homer, his third of the season and the 100th of his career.
Howie Kendrick also homered and drove in three runs for the Angels. Leadoff man Maicer Izturis had three hits.
Gavin Floyd (1-1) took the loss, yielding six runs and eight hits over six innings. He threw three wild pitches and allowed hits to the leadoff batter in each of the first four innings.
"The two home runs got him," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He got men at second base with less than two out for three innings in a row. He battled."
Paul Konerko hit his fourth homer for Chicago, a solo shot with two outs in the ninth to end a 1-for-16 slide.
Chatwood (1-1) retired 10 of his first 13 batters and induced three double plays. He struck out three. The right-hander gave up four runs over five innings Monday against Cleveland.
Izturis has 14 hits in his last 26 at-bats against the White Sox, getting hits in seven consecutive meetings. He is 6 for 10 in the series.
After Vernon Wells doubled to lead off the second and advanced to third on a fly ball, Floyd retired Mark Trumbo on a groundout and had a two-strike count on Conger before his second wild pitch in two innings allowed Wells to score the first run. Conger then grounded out.
In the third inning, Brandon Wood doubled and advanced to third on Izturis' second hit of the game, but Izturis was tagged out in a rundown. Kendrick then drove a 3-2 pitch over the left-center wall to put the Angels up 3-0.
The 391-foot shot was Kendrick's fifth homer of the season.
After allowing two hits to start the fourth, Floyd appeared to have found his rhythm, retiring eight in a row. But after a pair of two-out walks in the sixth, pitching coach Don Cooper paid Floyd a visit and Conger drove the next offering down the right-field line for his second homer of the season.
Conger is one of three catchers the Angels are carrying. Scioscia spoke at length before the game about the platoon and how he hoped someone would break away from the pack with offensive production.
"They were pounding me in. I was getting beat," Conger said. "After that mound visit I just wanted to hunt a fastball and put a swing on it."
Starting his third consecutive game, Conger finally broke through with the bat - but he hasn't won the starting job yet.
"What's helping him is the way he's played defensively," said Scioscia, a former catcher. "If you're a catcher and you're not doing the job defensively, it doesn't matter how well you swing the bat."
Quentin led off the fifth by driving the first pitch he saw over the left-center fence for his 100th home run.
"It's a nice accomplishment," Quentin said. "Obviously, you want the win first."
Floyd was relieved in the seventh by Will Ohman, who gave up a double to Izturis and an RBI single to Kendrick that extended the Angels' lead to 7-1.
Konerko homered off Rich Thompson in the ninth.
Juan Pierre had two hits and reached base three times for the White Sox. He was caught stealing in the third, unsuccessful for the fifth straight time. He is 4 for 9 on stolen base attempts this season.
The start was delayed for 2 hours, 10 minutes. ... Quentin has five hits in his last 32 at-bats. ... White Sox RHP Jake Peavy (right shoulder tendinitis) threw 34 pitches in a side session. He expects to throw 90-95 pitches Monday with Double-A Birmingham and will try to exceed 100 pitches next Saturday with Triple-A Charlotte. He hopes to rejoin the team by the end of April. ... The White Sox have committed the second-most errors in the majors this season, but Guillen has confidence his team will improve. "We have a third baseman (Brent Morel) who will win the Gold Glove before his career is over," Guillen said. "The shortstop (Alexei Ramirez) should be a Gold Glove (winner)." Angels 1B Kendrys Morales (left ankle) did some running drills at the team's spring training complex in Arizona on Friday and is "progressing," according to Scioscia. SS Erick Aybar (left oblique) took swings from the right side and will continue to do so while the team evaluates him.
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