Pujols, Weaver Send Angels Over White Sox 8-4
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Kole Calhoun homered and drove in three runs, Albert Pujols also went deep and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Chicago White Sox 8-4 Friday night.
Jered Weaver (7-4) won for the sixth time in eight starts, allowing two runs, five hits and four walks in six innings. His teammates staked him to a 7-1 lead through four.
The All-Star right-hander, pitching at home for the first time since his two-hit, 2-1 victory against Houston on May 21, struck out nine and improved to 8-2 with a 1.70 ERA in 11 starts against the White Sox.
Angels sidearming righty Joe Smith hit Alejandro De Aza and Adrian Nieto with consecutive pitches in the eighth, and nearly plunked Adam Eaton with his next offering before retiring him on a soft line drive to first with the bases loaded.
Pujols capped the Angels’ scoring in the bottom half with his 15th homer and the 507th of his career. Adam Dunn capped his three-hit night with a two-run homer off Ernesto Frieri, his 10th this season and the 450th of his career.
Andre Rienzo (4-3) lost his third straight start, throwing 72 pitches over 3 2-3 innings and giving up seven runs on nine hits. Over the previous 15 games, White Sox starters had a combined ERA of 2.03 — including a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers in which all five runs against Jose Quintana were unearned.
Chicago, starting its third straight series in Southern California after losing two of three to San Diego and winning two of three from the Dodgers, slipped 3 1/2 games behind AL Central-leading Detroit. After this series, the White Sox return home for a four-game showdown with the Tigers.
Calhoun got the Angels off and running with the second leadoff homer of his career, driving Rienzo’s third pitch of the game to right-center. Mike Trout followed with a single, stole second and scored on a double by Josh Hamilton that ended his drought of 27 at-bats without an RBI against White Sox pitching.
De Aza got Chicago on the board in the third, leading off the inning with his fifth home run and first in 33 games since his two-run shot off Tampa Bay’s Jake Odorizzi on April 28. The White Sox loaded the bases with a single by Nieto and two walks, but Weaver minimized the damage by slipping a called third strike past Dunn.
The Angels increased the margin to 7-1 with five more runs in the third. C.J. Cron hit a two-run double inside first base, Hank Conger snapped an 0-for-18 drought with an RBI single and Calhoun added a two-run double inside first base.
White Sox rookie sensation Jose Abreu ended up with a gift double in the second when his high fly fell in short right-center between Trout, Calhoun and second baseman Grant Green. But Weaver struck out Dunn and Alexei Ramirez before retiring Dayan Viciedo on a fly ball.
Dunn drove in Chicago’s second run with a fifth-inning single.
NOTES: White Sox LHP Chris Sale and Angels LHP C.J. Wilson will miss each other by one day because of the way the rotations shake out for this series. In Wilson’s last two starts against Chicago, both coming six days apart in May last season, Sale beat him 3-0 both times — including a one-hitter at U.S. Cellular Field. … Weaver fanned Abreu in the fifth for his 1,300th strikeout in the regular season. … The Angels are 32-20 when Calhoun plays, and 0-7 when he doesn’t. … Hamilton played in his 900th regular-season game in the majors and his fourth since coming off the disabled list. … Weaver has allowed a home run in five consecutive starts, one shy of his career-worst stretch, when he gave up at least one in each of his final six outings of 2012.