Rain can’t wash away Angels’ hitting woes – LA Times


By Ben Bolch
Los Angeles Times
The rain that deluged U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday evening only seemed to delay the inevitable by 2 hours 20 minutes.

The Angels trotted out another patchwork lineup, and the ensuing 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox almost had a predictable feel.

The White Sox scored first for the third consecutive game in the series and had little trouble dispatching a unintimidating batting order.

Starting at third base for the Angels was Brandon Wood, who is hitting .168 after going hitless in four at-bats. Starting at first base was Paul McAnulty, who has a homer since being promoted from the minor leagues over the weekend. Good thing, because he is hitless in his other 10 at-bats, with nine strikeouts.

Joe Saunders didn’t have one of his better outings, surrendering five runs in 5 2/3 innings, but these days it seems as if an Angels starter has to be nearly perfect to have any chance at a victory because of a staggering offense.

“Some of our guys are probably squeezing the bat a little hard,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “We are not getting that one hit to fall in, especially early in the game.”

The Angels have scored five runs combined during a three-game skid that has dropped them 5 1/2 games behind Texas in the American League West, tying their biggest deficit of the season. Their runs Wednesday were made possible in large part by five errors.

But the White Sox were plenty prolific with their bats. Paul Konerko gave them a 2-0 lead with a two-run double to right field in the third inning, and they got more than enough insurance in the sixth when Dayan Viciedo hit a run-scoring double and Brent Lillibridge had a two-run single.

Scioscia said before the game that his team has only three regulars