Having lost 13 of their previous 14 games in Anaheim, the White Sox looked like they knew how to go about breaking Angel Stadium’s hex by taking an energetic 4-0 lead through two turns at bat.
It turns out fighting only made it worse. Miguel Gonzalez lost the strike zone during a four-walk, four-run second to give up the gains, Anthony Swarzak looked mortal for the first time all season, and the defense kicked the ball around for good measure as the Sox succumbed to a sweep at the hands of the Angels.
The White Sox picked up some runs late to atone for their defensive shortcomings, but the only good thing to come out of this game is that they’re done with the Big A for 2017.
This was a game that warranted a bummed-out Hawk Harrelson. Jose Abreu spotted Gonzalez two runs in the first with a one-handed 424-foot homer to center, and the Yolmer Sanchez contributed two in the second with an RBI single and a firm slide into second on a potential double-play ball. It coaxed a high throw from Andrelton Simmons that Matt Shoemaker couldn’t handle, and another run crossed the plate as a result.
Then Gonzalez came out in the second and issued four walks to the first six batters. In bteween, Ben Revere hit an RBI triple, Martin Maldonado’s dribbler brought home a run, and Albert Pujols scored two with a single to tie the game.
Gonzalez dusted himself off enough to get through five with no more damage, but his night ended on an equally frustrating note. He retired the first two in the sixth before giving up a double to Danny Espinosa. In came Anthony Swarzak to face the ninth-hitting Maldonado, but Maldonado greeted him with a lined RBI single to left. Cameron Maybin continued to have a magic bat by hitting a checked-swing single halfway to third base, and then Mike Trout put the first three runs on Swarzak’s season tab by crushing an 0-1 slider to left for his 13th homer of the season.
The Sox’ defense then made it a farce in the seventh. A bad hop bit Tim Anderson to start the inning, Avisail Garcia broke in on a Revere drive that went over his head, and then three straight singles cashed in three runs, with a Garcia throwing error in the middle (his throw to third got past Todd Frazier and Michael Ynoa wasn’t backing up). David Holmberg came in and induced a rare double play from Maybin, but that brought home a run, too, making it a 12-4 game.
A late White Sox surge at least got rid of the aftertaste, and padded some stat lines. Avi Garcia had a three-hit game and just missed a homer to center. Sanchez, Melky Cabrera, Frazier and Anderson all had two hits apiece. The only White Sox starter without a hit was Leury Garcia. He drew a walk, but his 0-for-4 night otherwise ended a nine-game hitting streak.