CHICAGO (AP) — Whether it’s Mike Trout and Albert Pujols or Kole Calhoun and Howie Kendrick, there’s no telling who might step up for the Los Angeles Angels on a given day.
On Tuesday, 10 players drove in runs in a doubleheader sweep of the Chicago White Sox, with the Angels winning the first game 8-4 and capping the night with a 7-5 victory.
“I think our guys on the offensive side have proven that they’re going to pressure teams and get us runs,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Our challenge is going to be able to hold leads and we were able to do it today in two games.”
With Tuesday’s wins, the Angels moved to within 3 1/2 games of first-place Oakland in the AL West.
“We kept putting the pressure on,” said reliever Joe Smith, who earned saves in both games. “After you win that first game of a doubleheader, it’s really hard to win two. … (But) you put those runs right up on them early, that was huge for us.”
Calhoun homered and scored twice as the Angels held off the White Sox to complete the sweep. Kendrick added two hits and scored two runs as the Angels improved to 5-0 against Chicago this season. The twin-bill was quickly arranged after Monday’s game was rained out.
Jered Weaver (9-6) worked 5 2/3 innings for the win in the second game, allowing nine hits while striking out six. Chicago starter Scott Carroll (2-5) took the loss after pitching six-plus innings and giving up seven runs and 10 hits.
The Angels manufactured three second-inning runs on four straight singles and a fielder’s choice, including RBIs credited to Kendrick, C.J. Cron and Grant Green.
“You get yourself in trouble and put yourself in bad spots. It happened in both games,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Especially with this lineup. You don’t want to put anybody on and give them extra chances.”
The White Sox got two back with Conor Gillaspie’s first home run of the season, a two-run shot that drove in Alexei Ramirez with no outs.
In the fifth, Calhoun stroked Carroll’s 1-0 pitch into the right-field bullpen, scoring Green for a 5-2 lead. Kendrick scored on Hank Conger’s sixth-inning single for a 6-2 lead.
The White Sox added three runs in the sixth as Gillaspie’s RBI single scored Ramirez, while Dayan Viciedo’s homer with one out brought home Gillaspie, cutting the deficit to 6-5.
In the seventh, Carroll left with two runners on and no outs. White Sox reliever Jake Petricka walked two batters, forcing in Calhoun for a 7-5 Angels lead.
In the first game, Trout hit a three-run homer, Pujols followed with No. 509 of his career and Garrett Richards allowed two hits in eight innings.
Josh Hamilton also homered for Los Angeles, his first since June 3.
Trout’s shot off starter Hector Noesi (2-6) evened the score at 3 in the fifth. Pujols put the Angels ahead with his 17th of the season, tying Gary Sheffield for 24th place on the career chart.
Jose Abreu hit his major league-leading 26th home run in the first to give Chicago a 3-0 cushion. Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz also has 26 homers.
Richards (9-2) quickly recovered and improved to 5-0 since May 30. He struck out nine, walked two and matched his longest outing of the season.
“I think I was the same pitcher from beginning to end,” Richards said. “I wasn’t going to let three runs in the first ruin my day.”
“(Richards) was great,” Ventura said. “We got him early when Jose (homered) in the first inning, but after that, we didn’t get many good swings against him. He had good stuff.”
Noesi didn’t allow a hit until the fifth, when Collin Cowgill beat out an infield single. He was pulled with no outs in the sixth and was charged with five earned runs and three hits. He walked seven and struck out seven.
NOTES: Ventura said LHP Chris Sale (7-1, 2.30 ERA) is a worthy All-Star candidate despite spending a month on the disabled list. “You’re looking at a guy at the top of his game,” Ventura said. “His numbers prove it.” … Abreu became the first player in MLB history with 26 home runs in his first 70 games. He also extended his hitting streak to 16 games, matching Ross Gload’s record 16-game run in 2004. … Pujols was in the lineup despite a swollen lymph gland near his right groin. “It shouldn’t be anything that’s going to impact what he needs to do,” Scioscia said. … The Angels acquired Rich Hill from Boston for cash earlier in the day. The left-hander had a 3.23 ERA in 25 relief appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket.
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)