Angels-White Sox Preview
Hoping to build on an extra-inning victory in the series opener, the AL Central-leading White Sox try for a fifth consecutive home win Saturday night while the Angels look to avoid a fourth straight defeat.
Alex Rios hit his second homer of the night, a two-run shot in the 10th inning, to give Chicago (58-47) an 8-6 win over Los Angeles on Friday. The White Sox have won three straight and eight of 10 overall, and they've averaged 7.0 runs and batted .321 while winning 11 of 12 at U.S. Cellular Field.
Rios is hitting .417 (20 for 48) with six homers and 17 RBIs in the last 12 at home.
"He's very undervalued for a lot of people," manager Robin Ventura said of Rios, who is batting .318 with 18 homers and 67 RBIs overall after hitting .227 with 13 homers and 44 RBIs in 2011. "But for us he's been as solid as anybody in the league."
Teammate A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer Friday off Zack Greinke, giving him a career-high 19 homers - including one in each of his last three games. The veteran catcher last homered in four consecutive games May 14-18, 2005.
Chicago pounded out 12 hits against the Angels (57-50), who have allowed 34 runs over 26 2-3 innings during their three-game skid to fall into third place in the AL West, six games behind division-leading Texas. Los Angeles starters have posted a 9.50 ERA during that stretch.
Ervin Santana (5-10, 5.97 ERA) takes the mound after he allowed three runs in five innings of a 15-8 victory at Texas on Monday to record his first win in six starts.
The right-hander is 4-5 with a 4.72 ERA in 13 starts against the White Sox including postseason, but 3-2 with a 3.31 ERA in five at U.S. Cellular Field.
Chicago counters with Gavin Floyd (8-9, 4.28 ERA), who fell to 2-5 with a 4.98 ERA in eight starts against the Angels when he allowed seven runs and 10 hits in six innings of a 7-2 loss in Anaheim on May 16.
Floyd, however, is 4-2 with a 1.62 ERA in his last six starts overall, a stretch surrounding a stint on the disabled list with elbow tendinitis. The right-hander has walked 11 and struck out just two in two starts since coming off the DL, but he has allowed only five runs - three earned - in 12 2-3 innings while splitting those games.
"This is one of those (things) he just finds a way to make that pitch," Ventura told the White Sox's official website. "(He) gets in counts (where) you have to be aggressive."
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, who each homered Friday, are a combined 4 for 9 against Floyd. Pujols is 11 for 24 with four doubles, five home runs and 11 RBIs in the first five games of this 10-game trip while Trout has hit three of his 19 homers and driven in eight runs during the same span.
Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia played Friday's game under protest after a baserunning call went against his team during Chicago's four-run first inning. With the bases loaded, Paul Konerko hit a grounder to third base. The Angels got the first out at home but catcher Chris Iannetta threw wide to first.
Scioscia contended that Konerko was not within the base line for the last 45 feet. Pierzynski later homered with two outs.
"We're filing with the league, and I think it's a very clear case in our favor," Scioscia said.