Angels 7, White Sox 5: Swept in doubleheader

Yolk! - David Banks

Sox hit Jered Weaver harder than ever before, but Scott Carroll fared worse

Good news: The White Sox have never hit Jered Weaver harder than they did tonight.

Bad news: It wasn't enough to beat him and avoid a doubleheader sweep.

Perhaps the Sox could've salvaged a sweep with a better pitching matchup. They drew the fifth starter instead, and while Scott Carroll gave the Sox some quantity during the second game (six innings), he came up well short in terms of quality (seven runs on 10 hits and two walks).

Robin Ventura might've extended him too far. The Sox scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Angels' lead to 6-5. Carroll returned to the mound with a reasonable pitch count (79), but a somewhat unreasonable task -- try to get through the top of the Los Angeles lineup for a fourth time. He walked Kole Calhoun, who had homered off him earlier in the game, to bring Mike Trout to the plate, and Carroll walked him as well.

Ventura looked like he had thoughts of pulling Carroll a batter earlier, but he finally came out when Albert Pujols came to the plate. In came Jake Petricka, who induced a flyout to medium-range left. Calhoun tagged up, and Dayan Viciedo's gung-ho attempt toward third couldn't be cut off, Trout took second.

With the base open, Petricka walked Josh Hamilton intentionally to load the bases, then edged closer to an escape by getting Erick Aybar to pop out. But with Howie Kendrick coming to the plate, Petricka fell behind -- first 2-0, then 3-1, and then 4-2. The Sox' fourth walk of the inning was their eighth bases-loaded walk of the year (Petricka's the only one with two). Petricka did rally to strike out C.J. Cron, but the lead had already been kicked too far away from the White Sox offense.

Especially since Leury Garcia was hitting second.

Garcia entered the game 6-for-46 over May and June, and his fifth-inning single snapped an 0-for-22 skid. But he came up at two crucial junctures later in the game, and he gave the Sox a pair of awful at-bats.

In the sixth, he came to the plate with runners on the corners, two outs and the Sox trailing by one. He swung himself into a 1-2 hole against Mike Morin, then watched an inner-half fastball for strike three to end the inning.

His next time up was the Sox' last chance -- two outs, bottom of the ninth against righty sidewinder Joe Smith. Ventura probably didn't pinch-hit for him because he didn't have a lefty on the bench, but Garcia isn't doing anything against anybody. Sure enough, he struck out on three pitches to end the game. It's a bad enough idea to bat him second, but it compounds the problem to leave the game up to him.

Bad lineup construction short-circuited the Sox offense, but bad luck hurt them in between. In the eighth, Jason Grilli walked a guy and gave up two ropes. Fortunately for him, Viciedo's line drive was snared by a leaping Aybar at short, and De Aza's liner up the middle glanced off Grilli's glove and turned into an easy double-play ball.

The Sox offense had some fight in it, responding when the Angels scored, and against a much tougher pitcher. When Carroll gave up four straight hits in the second inning to lead to three Angels runs, Conor Gillaspie swatted a hanging curve just over the fence in right for his first homer of the year, cutting the lead to 3-2.

When Calhoun hit a two-run homer in the fifth and Hank Conger added an RBI single an inning later, the Sox answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth. Alexei Ramirez started the rally with a one-out double and scored on Gillaspie's single, and Gillaspie came around when Weaver threw a hanging curve to Viciedo, which the Tank swatted deep in the left-field seats to cut the lead to 6-5.

Weaver failed to complete six innings for only the second time in his 12 career starts against the White Sox. The other was his very first start against the Sox in 2007, except he shut out the Sox over 5⅔ innings that time. Tonight, he allowed five runs on nine hits over 5⅔ innings. The outing raised his lifetime ERA against the Sox from 1.70 to 2.15 ... but he still ran his record up to 9-2.

Bullet points:

*Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a hard ground-ball single off Calhoun's glove at third. It was initially ruled an error, but it would've been a highly impressive play if Calhoun could handle that much topspin.

*Eaton made a leaping catch against the wall to take extra bases away from Calhoun in the eighth. It looked like a homer off the bat, but the wind made a play possible.

Record: 39-46 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights

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