ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Between C.J. Wilson’s uncharacteristic bout with wildness and a couple of balls that fell in the outfield and should have been caught, Angels manager Mike Scioscia’s disposition after the game wasn’t very sunny.
Chris Sale pitched effectively into the sixth inning and Dayan Viciedo hit his sixth homer and third in a four-game span, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 6-1 victory on Thursday. The only bright spots for the Angels were Albert Pujols’ second home run in two days, a career-high four hits by Mark Trumbo and a fence-climbing catch by left fielder Vernon Wells to rob Gordon Beckham of a homer.
“This is disappointing. We were just trying to get momentum, but we just didn’t give ourselves a chance today,” Scioscia said. “Obviously, C.J. was off and walked too many guys. And you can’t give a team five outs in an inning and expect to come away with a win. We just have to turn the page on this one.”
Wilson (4-4) was charged with four runs — one earned — and four hits. The six walks equaled his career worst, which occurred on June 15, 2010, against the Marlins at Miami while he was pitching for the Texas Rangers.
“I had a little stomach virus today, so I couldn’t really get anything going,” Wilson said. “It was just weird. I almost passed out after the first inning. I didn’t set a good tone, and that’s pretty much my fault. I put the defense to sleep out there — and the bats, too, I guess.”
Sale (4-2) allowed a run and five hits in 5 1-3 innings and struck out seven in his sixth major league start, following a three-game stretch in which White Sox starters John Danks, Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd gave up a combined 18 earned runs over 14 1-3 innings.
The 23-year-old left-hander joined lefty Steve Rosenberg (1989) as the only White Sox pitchers to give up three runs or less in each of their first six big league starts since divisional play began in 1969.
“I guess that’s a cool stat, but it’s obviously something I don’t pay attention to at all,” Sale said. “I have a job to do, and that’s to go out and keep my team in the game, keep the other team to fewer runs on the board than the other starter and pitch deep into the game. That’s my main focus.”
A first-round draft pick in 2010, Sale was used exclusively in relief by the White Sox during his two previous seasons in the big leagues. Two of those relief outings were against the Angels, who got to see him again during spring training.
“He has a live arm,” Scioscia said. “He’s throwing a little bit different than he was when he was throwing out of the `pen, when he had more velocity. But still, he’s throwing a heavy ball with a lot of movement and good velocity. He made us swing the bats. I thought we had a good approach for him, actually. We got his pitch count up and had some guys in scoring position, but he pitched well enough to win.”
A.J. Pierzynski, the player Angels fans love to hate, delivered a two-out RBI single in the third to open the scoring after flying out with the bases loaded to end the White Sox first. He was 3 for 5 with two RBI singles, and is 29 for 70 in his last 19 games at Angel Stadium.
Chicago tacked on three unearned runs in the fourth. Angels center fielder Mike Trout started in right for the first time this season due to the absence of nine-time Gold Glove winner Torii Hunter because of his son’s arrest in Texas, and dropped a routine flyball by Dyan Viciedo with one out.
Viciedo ended up at second base on the error, and Wilson walked the next two batters before Adam Dunn chased the left-hander with a two-run single. David Carpenter came in and Paul Konerko hit a popup to short right field, but the ball fell in front of second baseman Howie Kendrick after he called off Trout. It was scored as an RBI single.
“It was right in the sun,” Kendrick said. “I made a mistake and had my sunglasses on my hat, and I shouldn’t have had them on there. But I still have to make that play, regardless. We can’t allow that to happen. We’ve got to make plays and give the team the best opportunity to win. Today we missed some flyballs, and we’ve got to work on that.”
In the fifth, Alexei Ramirez’s blooper fell between Trout and Kendrick for a hit after a leadoff single by Pierzynski. Viciedo followed with a flyball to short center, where Peter Bourjos converged with Trout and Kendrick before making the catch — resulting in a derisive cheer from the crowd of 30,786. Carpenter then fielded Brent Morel’s comebacker and started a double play.
NOTES: The Angels had gone 54 consecutive innings without an error before Trout’s first miscue of the season in 17 starts in the outfield. … Both teams begin their respective interleague schedules on Friday. The White Sox have a matinee affair with the Cubs at Wrigley Field and the Angels are at San Diego. Pujols hasn’t homered on the road during the regular season in 22 games and 100 at-bats, dating back to last season with the Cardinals.