The Los Angeles Angels have been eliminated from American League wild-card contention and are playing out the string when they visit the Chicago White Sox on Thursday in the finale of a four-game set. White Sox rookie Nicky Delmonico ended Los Angeles’ hopes with a two-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th in Wednesday’s 6-4 victory that propelled the Minnesota Twins into the postseason.
The Angels (78-80) will miss the playoffs for the third straight season and seventh in the past eight years and are in danger of suffering their second consecutive losing campaign. A late-season collapse has seen them drop eight of their past 10 games and high-priced players such as Mike Trout and Albert Pujols experienced quiet Septembers. Trout struck out four times in Wednesday’s loss and is batting just .229 with four homers and nine RBIs in the month, while Pujols was in a 7-for-46 funk before recording back-to-back two-hit games. Delmonico, who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs on Wednesday, has smacked nine homers in 135 at-bats.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), CSN Chicago
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Bud Norris (2-6, 4.42 ERA) vs. White Sox RH Dylan Covey (0-7, 7.83)
Norris is making his third start of a season in which he has made 57 relief appearances. The 32-year-old lost to the Houston Astros last Saturday when he started and allowed one run and three hits in 3 1/3 innings. Norris is 1-3 with a 4.64 ERA in five career appearances (three starts) against the White Sox.
Covey is making his 12th start of the season and is still looking for his first major-league victory. The 26-year-old had lost each of his last three starts, compiling a 7.04 ERA and walking nine in 15 1/3 innings during the span. Covey, who is facing the Angels for the first time, has served up an astounding 19 homers in just 64 1/3 innings this season.
1. White Sox 1B Jose Abreu is 5-for-9 with two homers in the series and is 9-for-21 during a five-game hitting streak.
2. Los Angeles RF Kole Calhoun hit a three-run homer on Wednesday - his first of the month and ending a 27-game drought.
3. Chicago DH/3B Matt Davidson (illness) has missed back-to-back contests but could return Thursday.
PREDICTION: Angels 8, White Sox 7