Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Angels 4-run first enough to beat White Sox

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Stretch-run moustaches slowly but surely are disappearing around the White Sox clubhouse.

So is the Sox' lead over the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. And manager Robin Ventura's cool.

At a semi-comfortable three games after their win against Detroit at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday, the advantage was shaved to one half game on Saturday night after the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Sox 4-2. The Sox losing streak is now four.

The Angels scored four in the first against rookie lefty Jose Quintana (6-5). Three runs were unearned because of a Quintana error on a routine bunt.

Paul Konerko homered in the second inning against Dan Haren (12-11). Pinch hitter Dewayne Wise drove in the other Sox run with a groundout in the seventh.

The Sox started this game in poor fashion. Haren struck out Alejandro De Aza, Kevin Youkilis and Adam Dunn -- who was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a double play -- in the first, this a day after the Sox struck out 12 times.

Quintana set the table for a four-run Angels first by walking leadoff man Mike Trout and then fumbling Erick Aybar's sacrifice bunt for an error. After Albert Pujols doubled in Trout, Torii Hunter singled in Aybar. Quintana walked two more in the inning and gave up an opposite field two-run single to Mark Trumbo with two outs that made it 4-0.

Ventura was ejected in the fourth inning by first base umpire Ed Hickox for arguing a balk call on Quintana, who had dug himself into a 4-0 hole in the first inning before finishing with four scoreless frames. In the fourth, Quintana filled the bases with no outs but got out of it by retiring Pujols, Hunter and Howie Kendrick.

Ventura may have been trying to light a fire under a team that has looked flat because it's not hitting. It was his fourth ejection, leaving bench coach Mark Parent in charge.

"Putting pressure on themselves to do well,'' Ventura said before the game of his hitters who are struggling. "It's more just doing the simple things. I don't think one guy has to carry this. What they have to realize is it's nine guys going up having tough at-bats.

"Look at [Friday's] game. A lot of strikeouts [12] and pop-ups. It's more putting it in play and putting pressure on the defense rather than swinging as hard as you can and hope something happens."

On the subject of hope, the Sox were thinking the Tigers-Twins day-night doubleheader Sunday might work to their advantage knowing doubleheaders are difficult to sweep.

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on September 22, 2012 10:51 PM.

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