Angels stay alive with win over White Sox
CHICAGO — Jose Abreu may have had his way with Parker Bridwell on Tuesday, but the Los Angeles Angels right-hander otherwise maintained nearly full mastery over the Chicago White Sox.
The Angels right-hander allowed three runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings as Los Angeles kept its flickering hopes for an American League wild-card berth alive with a 9-3 victory.
“He was pitch-efficient (and) was pitching to contact,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “There were a couple of walks there, but for the most part, he had contact on his terms. We turned double plays when we needed it.”
Abreu hit a pair of homers off Bridwell (9-3), including a first-inning solo shot that gave Chicago its only lead.
“Outside of Abreu, who obviously hit a couple of balls that might still be going, (Bridwell) pitched a good game,” Scioscia said.
The Angels used a six-run second to build an early lead, with Brandon Phillips, Luis Valbuena and Mike Trout each homering off Chicago starter Chris Volstad in the inning.
Volstad, making his first start in five years, worked five innings and fell to 1-1 for the White Sox (64-93).
The win kept the Angels (78-79) barely alive in their chase of Minnesota for the second AL wild card. The Twins (83-74) put the Angels on the brink of elimination with their 8-6 victory over the Cleveland Indians, lowering their magic number to one.
“We’re not out yet,” Bridwell said. “As long as we’ve still got a chance, we’ve got to be optimistic. I’m excited to see where it goes.”
Abreu went 3-for-4 with solo home runs in the first and sixth innings and an eighth-inning double. He now has 33 homers and 11 career multi-homer games, five this season.
“He continues to just go out there and give you great at-bats,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. “You can see the confidence in him and poise in which he carries himself.”
The Angels added three runs in the seventh. Justin Upton brought home C.J. Cron on a fielder’s choice, and Albert Pujols singled home Kole Calhoun and Trout with two outs for a 9-2 lead.
Chicago added a seventh-inning run as Kevan Smith’s single to shallow center scored Avisail Garcia.
Bridwell walked two and struck out one. Phillips and Pujols each went 2-for-4 while Martin Maldonado was 2-for-3 to pace the Angels.
Abreu gave Chicago a 1-0 lead in the first inning with his 32nd home run of the season. He hit a 3-1 pitch from Bridwell down the left field line.
It is the most homers by Abreu since he clubbed 36 in his 2014 AL Rookie of the Year season.
The lead was short-lived as the Angels replied with three home runs in the top of the second to open a 6-1 advantage.
Phillips sent Volstad’s 0-1 pitch to left for his 13th homer of the season and second with the Angels to drive in Pujols with no outs for a 2-1 Angels lead.
Valbeuna then made it 3-1 with his 22nd homer of the season to right, coming on a full count with one out.
Trout then slugged his 31st home run of the season on a first pitch to center with two outs, driving in Maldonado and Calhoun.
Chicago third baseman Yolmer Sanchez left the game after a third-inning at-bat with a right knee contusion. X-rays were negative, and he is listed as day-to-day.
Volstad allowed six runs and six hits. He struck out three and walked one.
“Volstad didn’t do a bad job, he just had one bad inning and was able to get through five,” Renteria said.
NOTES: Los Angeles DH Albert Pujols’ two seventh-inning RBIs gave him 100 for the 14th season. He has 41 RBIs in his last 49 games. ... Angels CF Mike Trout’s 30th homer of the season on Monday traveled an estimated 457 feet, his longest shot of the season. Trout tops the AL in on-base percentage (.446) and slugging (.629). ... The Angels send RHP Garrett Richards (0-2, 1.50 ERA) against White Sox RHP Reynaldo Lopez (3-3, 4.54) on Wednesday in the third game in the four-game series. ... Tadahito Iguchi, the former White Sox second baseman and 2005 World Series champion who officially retired from baseball this week, returns on Thursday to throw out the ceremonial first pitch against the Angels. ... The White Sox mourned the passing of former broadcaster Ralph Faucher, who died last Friday at age 91. He teamed with Harry Caray on radio broadcasts in 1971-72.