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Saturday, May 18, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Angels 12, White Sox 9

By Dan Arritt
Special to ESPNChicago.com


ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Chicago White Sox produced a season-high 17 hits Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels, but their pitching didn't hold up in a 12-9 loss that ends their season-high four-game winning streak.

How it happened: The Sox took a 4-0 lead in their half of the fourth inning and appeared to be setting sail toward their fifth consecutive victory against the slumping Angels. But a leadoff home run by Mark Trumbo in the bottom of the fourth seemed to give the Angels life and frazzle Chicago starter Hector Santiago. The Angels scored twice more in the fourth and then took the lead for good with two runs in the fifth. The White Sox rallied from a two-run deficit in the eighth inning in Thursday's series opener, but the Angels thought they ended any chances of a comeback by scoring five runs in the seventh on Saturday, but Chicago came back with five of its own in the eighth, the last three on a home run by backup catcher Hector Gimenez that was his fourth hit of the game. That was as close as the Sox would come, however, as the Angels came back with two runs in the eighth for the highest run total against the White Sox this season.

What it means: With the Cleveland Indians posting another walk-off win earlier Saturday against the Seattle Mariners, the White Sox dropped five games back in the American League Central. More concerning could be the health of first baseman/designated hitter Adam Dunn, who did not take the field in the fifth inning after experiencing back spasms. Dunn had a two-run single earlier in the game to make him 8-for-19 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in the past five games. Still, the White Sox can finish 5-2 on the trip with a win Sunday in the finale of the four-game series.

Outside the box: Santiago landed in the starting rotation after Jake Peavy was scratched from a May 2 start because of back spasms and earned a longer stay when it was learned Gavin Floyd would need season-ending elbow surgery. With fellow left-hander John Danks close to returning from offseason shoulder surgery, the White Sox will need to make room in the rotation as soon as next week. Santiago certainly didn't help his cause by failing to take advantage of a four-run lead in his fourth start this season. After the leadoff homer by Trumbo in the fourth, Santiago gave up a single and three straight walks to earn a much-deserved early hook.

Off beat: Angels starter Joe Blanton entered the game with an 0-7 record and a major league leading 75 hits surrendered in 46 innings. He certainly didn't improve that average by giving up two hits in each of the first three innings, but the White Sox couldn't muster a third hit in any of them and stranded all six runners. They loaded the bases in the fourth and this time didn't let Blanton off the hook, getting a two-run double from Alex Rios and a two-run single from Dunn for a 4-0 lead. Unfortunately, the White Sox continued to strand runners, leaving 11 on base through the first five innings and 12 in all, something that would come back to haunt them later in the game.

Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Jake Peavy (5-1, 2.96 ERA) to the mound in the finale of the four-game series. The Angels will counter with left-hander Jason Vargas (2-3, 4.03 ERA) in the 2:35 p.m. CT start from Angel Stadium.