ANAHEIM, Calif. — Doesn’t seem to matter what the White Sox do at Angel Stadium. They just can’t beat the Los Angeles Angels.
Despite taking an early four-run lead, the White Sox went on to lose for the 14th time in 15 games at the place the locals call “The Big A.” Miguel Gonzalez walked four batters in the second inning, the first of three four-run rallies by Los Angeles. The White Sox dropped a 12-8 decision to the Angels, who completed a three-game sweep in front of 33,234. The loss is the 17th in 21 games in Anaheim for the White Sox dating back to 2012 and it dropped them to 17-21 overall this season.
“It’s definitely tough to swallow,” said Gonzalez, who allowed five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. “It’s not easy. Guys came out today and hit the ball well. We had 15 hits. Those type of games, those are the games you want to win. Things didn’t go our way. Our bullpen has been throwing the ball really well. Today didn’t go their way. Just flush this game and get ready for the next one.”
Everything appeared to be headed in the White Sox direction in the early innings.
Jose Abreu crushed a low, outside split-fingered fastball from Matt Shoemaker in the first inning for a two-run homer and a 2-0 lead. Abreu’s seventh homer traveled an estimated 424 feet and splashed down in the Thunder Mountain Railroad rocks in center field.
The White Sox added on in the second inning, too.
Matt Davidson singled and scored on an RBI single by Yolmer Sanchez and Leury Garcia scored on an errant double play throw to make it 4-0.
But then it all fell apart rather quickly.
After he walked one in a scoreless first inning, Gonzalez walked four in the four-run second inning. Andrelton Simmons drew the first and scored when Ben Revere tripled him in. Danny Espinosa received a free pass and Martin Maldonado’s sac bunt made it a 4-2 game. Cameron Maybin, who went 3-for-4 with a walk after a five-hit effort on Tuesday, walked as did Mike Trout to load the bases. Albert Pujols tied it with a two-run single.
Gonzalez then appeared to find a rhythm as he retired the side in order on seven pitches in the fourth. He recorded the first two outs in the sixth inning before allowing a double to Espinosa and gave way to Anthony Swarzak, who had a 0.00 ERA. Maldonado singled in the go-ahead run and Maybin singled to set up Trout, who blasted a three-run homer for an 8-4 lead.
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Gonzalez allowed five earned runs and six hits with five walks in 5 2/3 innings, his second straight rough outing. Swarzak departed with three runs and three hits allowed.
“It kind of fell apart there,” manager Rick Renteria said. “We’ve been riding these guys pretty hard, all of our relievers. One of the very few instances where our guys had a little tough time.
“This game evolved into one of those games that happens very rarely. We haven’t had that many to be honest. I don’t think it’s something to hold on to and let linger. We have to move on to the next series.”
It got a little worse before it got better.
A Tim Anderson error sparked a seventh-inning rally that included RBI singles by C.J. Cron, Espinosa and Maldonado. Maybin grounded into a double play to push across another run to make it 12-4.
The White Sox refused to go quietly as they scored three runs in the eighth inning. Avisail Garcia, Anderson and Kevan Smith all singled in a run. Garcia also doubled in a run in the ninth inning to get the White Sox within four runs.
“We’re trying our best to get out of this bad streak,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “It doesn’t matter that our best right now hasn’t been enough for us. We have to keep working hard every day and do our best every day.
“We’re trying to fight every at-bat, every pitch, every play. Sometimes things don’t go the way you want them to go.”