Angels 7, White Sox 5
The Los Angeles Angels aren't nearly where they want to be. At least they're making progress.
Mike Trout had two hits, including the go-ahead single in the seventh inning, to lead the Angels to a 7-5 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night. Los Angeles' bullpen pitched 5 2-3 scoreless innings for the win, and helped the Angels to their first consecutive victories since beating the Tigers three straight April 19-21.
They also improved to 6-13 on the road. Their seven runs were the most since they scored eight in a 10-8 loss April 29 at Oakland.
''They're all important,'' said Brendan Harris, who had three hits and a home run. ''So if we can get two in a row and just get a little momentum, and everybody can exhale a little bit, it's going lend itself better to really getting on a roll to really get going as we get into May.''
The Angels got their second win in a row thanks to a big third inning when they scored four times, and a bullpen that helped Los Angeles survive after expected starter Tommy Hanson was put on the restricted list early Friday.
In his first start of the season, Barry Enright replaced Hanson, lasting 3 1-3 innings, giving up four hits and five runs. Relievers Mark Lowe, Michael Kohn (1-0), Dane De La Rosa and Ernesto Frieri then combined to blank the White Sox, who have lost four of six.
Lowe relieved Enright and worked 1 2-3 scoreless innings, Kohn went an inning, De La Rosa two, then Frieri finished by striking out the side in the ninth for his sixth save in seven tries.
''I think the length that we needed, plus the effectiveness, those guys stepped up big,'' manager Mike Scioscia said.
Los Angeles, which won Thursday in Houston despite an umpiring error that led to a two-game suspension for crew chief Fieldin Culbreth, fell behind early.
Alejandro De Aza gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead in the first with a leadoff home run. The home run was De Aza's seventh of the season and seventh career leadoff homer. He's done it three times this season, including on Wednesday at New York. De Aza is the first Chicago player to start consecutive games with a home run since Kenny Lofton in July 2002.
Los Angeles built a 5-1 lead after Harris homered in the fourth, but the White Sox rallied for four runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie it.
After that, the Los Angeles bullpen stifled the White Sox. Because of Hanson's status and injuries to the Angels bullpen, De La Rosa figured Friday might be a long night.
''When I do get the ball I'm willing to throw however many innings they actually need me,'' he said.
In the seventh, Hank Conger reached on Conor Gillaspie's error to start the inning and scored on Trout's sharp single to right off reliever Matt Lindstrom that gave the Angels a 6-5 lead. J.B. Shuck then scored on a passed ball.
''We battled back and you give them multiple opportunities and you're going to pay for it,'' White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ''That's just the name of it right there. You just can't give these guys a lot of opportunities.''
In six-plus innings, Chicago starter Dylan Axelrod allowed six runs and seven hits. Axelrod (0-3) left after Gillaspie's error in the seventh.
''The whole game, I felt really good. It's just an unfortunate thing that they got some runs in the third. That's the frustrating part, where you feel great out there and still give up some runs,'' Axelrod said. ''I can't be that disappointed in my effort because I felt I executed pretty well and they just happened to score.''
Scioscia, meanwhile, saw his offense score seven runs and his bullpen finish off a needed win, both of which are some of ''the components that you need to start to build momentum.''
''It feels good to get this one and move onto tomorrow,'' he said.
NOTES: Scioscia was asked Friday if owner Arte Moreno needed to give him a public vote of confidence and said ''not for what I do. Not for my benefit.'' Los Angeles entered Friday having lost five of its last seven, fueling speculation about the job security of the Angels manager, who's in his 14th season. ... White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham took 100 swings off a tee before Friday's game. Beckham is on the disabled list after breaking his left hamate bone April 9 in Washington and having surgery on April 16. ... Angels infielder Erick Aybar was not in the lineup after experiencing tightness in his right hamstring Thursday in Houston. Scioscia said Aybar and reliever Scott Downs, who injured his right foot Thursday, are both day-to-day.