|Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Ervin Santana throws to the plate during the second inning of their baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, in Anaheim, Calif. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)|
White Sox lose to Angels 6-2, drop 3rd in a row
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Chicago White Sox have dropped three in a row and their AL Central lead is down to 1½ games. So they’re more interested in forgetting the past than rehashing what went wrong.
The White Sox were shut down by Ervin Santana and lost 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
‘‘You know these games don’t mean any more than games you play in April, but they seem like they do,’’ White Sox slugger Paul Konerko said. ‘‘You've just got to get perspective on it and realize that we can’t get to next week until we get through tomorrow.’’
Chicago’s loss allowed second-place Detroit to inch closer after its series opener against Minnesota was postponed by rain. White Sox starter Jake Peavy (11-12) gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings.
‘‘I can sit here and take the blame, and I certainly will,’’ Peavy said. ‘‘But we've all got to dig deep right now and try to find a way to beat a good team that’s playing for a lot as well.’’
Alejandro De Aza got the White Sox off to a fast start with a leadoff homer in the first, but Santana (9-12) quickly recovered and retired 21 of his final 23 batters, walking Gordon Beckham with one out in the third and giving up a two-out single to Alexei Ramirez in the fifth.
Santana allowed two hits and matched a career high with 11 strikeouts over seven innings. The right-hander walked one while throwing 108 pitches.
‘‘We got our rear ends kicked, so you just go from there,’’ White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘Santana was good and we just didn’t get enough going against him. The ball was moving all over the place and we struck out a lot. Early in the game it didn’t look like he'd be spotting his fastball, but he was wild enough just to keep you guessing.’’
Konerko was back in Chicago’s lineup a day after sitting out because of a minor back injury. He went 0 for 4 while serving as the designated hitter.
‘‘Physically, I felt OK,’’ he said. ‘‘Approach-wise, I felt really good out there. But I took a bad swing the first at-bat and rolled the ball over and didn’t get the results I wanted. But coming back from a day off, sometimes you actually come back and feel a little worse, and then it kind of kicks in eventually.’’
Mike Trout and Kendrys Morales homered for Los Angeles, which pulled within 3½ games of Oakland for the second AL wild card. The Athletics lost 2-1 to the New York Yankees in 10 innings.
Morales hit a leadoff drive in the second and Trout went deep in the seventh. Albert Pujols and Torii Hunter had two RBIs apiece.
The Angels grabbed the lead for good in the third when Pujols’ bloop single to left-center fell in front of center fielder De Aza, who misplayed the ball to allow Trout to score behind Chris Iannetta.
Hunter drove in two more runs in the fourth, extending the Angels’ lead to 5-1 with a bases-loaded single to left with two outs.
Trout now has 28 homers for Los Angeles, which had lost five of its previous seven home games. The rookie is one of the top contenders for the AL MVP award.
NOTES: Trout became the first major league rookie to score 120 runs or more in a season since Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki had 127 in 2001, and the fourth rookie since 1964 to notch 120 or more runs. ... Hunter’s RBIs gave him 82 on the season, surpassing the 81 he had last year. ... De Aza’s leadoff homer was the fourth of his career, and third this month.