After three frustrating losses, the White Sox indeed saved their runs for the finale. They opened up for eight runs to not only avoid the sweep, but double their combined run total in Anaheim entering the evening.
The Sox held a pitching advantage on paper, and it worked out in practice, too. Jose Quintana wasn't in top form, but he was better than Nick Tropeano, who caved in during a five-run fifth inning.
A favorable review -- and a rare one at that -- cemented this game's fate. With the game tied at 1 in the fifth, the Sox loaded the bases with nobody out. Carlos Sanchez broke the tie with a single, and a sac fly by Adam Eaton made it a 3-1 game with still two outs to spare. Tyler Saladino followed by lofting a liner over the third baseman for another run, bringing Jose Abreu to the plate.
Abreu battled the count full, then turned on a changeup and hit a line drive that turned around third-base umpire Dana Demuth, who spun and signaled the ball foul. Robin Ventura challenged it, because a replay showed the ball indeed kicked up chalk. After a review, Abreu was placed on second base with a double. The unusual part is that Saladino was allowed to score from first, giving the Sox a 6-1 lead after the two-run two-bagger.
Although Quintana gave up three straight two-out singles to give a run back in the bottom of the inning, he struck out C.J. Cron to strand two runners, and the Angels never threatened again.
The Sox added to the Angels' pain, however. They figured out Cam Bedrosian's stuff in his second inning of work, as Avisail Garcia led off the eighth with a smoked double over Mike Trout's head in center, and Adam LaRoche outdid Garcia with a no-doubter over the high wall in right-center for his 11th homer of the year, putting an exclamation point on a satisfying game that took its time.
*Saladino returned to the second spot for some reason, but he held up his end of the bargain by going 2-for-4. OK, the reason probably was aesthetics, as he was asked to bunt Adam Eaton over to third after a double to start the game.
*The Sox' bunting game was effective, though. Eaton dropped a beautiful drag bunt for a single, and Geovany Soto successfully push-bunted a "single" in the same direction, and on two strikes (probably should've been an error on Cron).
*Every starter had a hit except Melky Cabrera, who went 0-for-4.
*Quintana gave up two runs on eight hits and two walks over six inning, striking out three. He threw only 60 of 102 pitches for strikes, and Don Cooper came out for a pretty emphatic mound visit, perhaps quibbling with the pace shared by Quintana and Soto. Nevertheless, he lowered his ERA to 3.60.
*Strong defense helped the cause. Garcia threw out Johnny Giavotella at second base to foil a potential double, and Alexei Ramirez and Sanchez turned a lightning-quick 6-4-3 double play to get Mike Trout.