ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jeff Samardzija found his rhythm again on Wednesday night but Jered Weaver kept the White Sox offense from ever finding one.
Samardzija bounced back from a horrid start to August with seven strong innings but the Los Angeles Angels downed the White Sox 1-0 in front of 35,036 at Angel Stadium. Carlos Perez’s sixth-inning solo home run provided the only offense of the game and earned a win for Weaver, who pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings.
“(Weaver) knows what he has to do when he’s on the mound and he showed it tonight,” Jose Abreu said through an interpreter. “He kept me off balance all night long and he was tough. I wasn’t able to make an adjustment because he was very good.
“His curveball is very difficult because it keeps you off balance every time.”
Following five brilliant July starts in which he went 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA, Samardzija had a 12.91 ERA in his last three outings.
While he supplied the Angels with plenty of early opportunities on Wednesday, Samardzija toughened up in each instance. Working with catcher Tyler Flowers for the first time since Opening Day, Samardzija stranded the bases loaded in the second inning, left a man on third in the third and two more in both the fourth and fifth innings.
But a 2-0 fastball from Samardzija to Perez caught too much of the plate and the catcher belted it out just over the leap of Melky Cabrera for a solo homer, the 21st allowed by Samardzija this season.
“Any time you lose a game, you are disappointed,” Samardzija said. “You just keep going back to the homer you gave up. It could be a 0-0 game and still in it. I fall behind 2-0 with one out and you leave one over the plate and it gets taken advantage of. That one will be in your head for a while.”
Samardzija allowed a run and eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings. It was the fewest earned runs Samardzija has allowed in a road start since July 23.
“Jeff pitched a great game,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “The home run got us but he battled out of some jams.
“He probably cranked it up a little more. Any time you get in jams like that you have to find your way out of it and he did. He scrambled enough to get out of it.”
But Weaver was better.
Using an arsenal of 63-to-86 mph pitches, Weaver kept the White Sox out of whack after he escaped a first-inning jam.
Adam Eaton opened the game with a single and Cabrera moved him to third with a one-out hit of his own. But Weaver got Avisail Garcia looking and J.B. Shuck (two hits) flew out to deep center to strand the pair.
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Weaver retired 10 in a row before he allowed a two-out single in the fourth. He worked around a leadoff double by Carlos Sanchez in the fifth, too. Tyler Flowers bunted Sanchez to third but Weaver got Tyler Saladino to hit a squibber to the mound and Eaton bounced out.
Weaver allowed five hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings.
The White Sox finished 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, including stranding the tying run in the ninth as Joe Smith got pinch-hitter Adam LaRoche to bounce into a game-ending double play with two aboard.
LaRoche originally was ruled safe at first on the play but league officials overturned the call after a 3-minute, 36-second replay review.
Instead of having another chance to tie, the White Sox lost. And Samardzija was forced to think about giving up a solo homer instead of focusing on his best start in weeks.
“I’m happy with the fact that what had been getting me in trouble before was giving up little hits and letting them get to me and then it snowballs,” Samardzija said. “I wanted to go out there and stay in control of the game and continue to make good pitches. Regardless of the results, justkeep doing that.
“I was pleased with how that went. Like I said, I’m more disappointed in falling behind 2-0 than the pitch that happened and the result. You are in attack mode there, 0-0, you want to be ahead in the count or at least 1-1.”