By Pete Zarustica
It took a while, but the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have finally climbed back over the .500 hill and posted a winning record. An exhausting 12-8 win over the Chicago White Sox Wednesday gave the Halos a sweep of the three-game series in Anaheim and elevated their record to 22-21.
That’s five wins in six games, four in a row and a tie for second place in the American League West with the Texas Rangers. Both teams remain eight games back of the Houston Astros.
Wednesday’s win resembled Tuesday’s victory because in both cases, the Angels built a big lead and almost let it slip away. The Halos assembled a 12-4 lead through seven innings then saw the Chisox rally for four runs to make it somewhat closer.
Mike Trout continued his home run barrage, launching a three-run shot in the sixth inning for his 13th homer of the year. It was his fifth home run in six games. That ties him for third place in the majors.
Albert Pujols had two hits, two runs, two RBIs and walked twice. Martin Maldonado had two hits and three RBIs.
Starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker (3-2) struggled early, yielding four runs in the first two innings but then settled down. He finished with 6.1 innings pitched having given up nine hits and four runs (three of them earned). He struck out nine batters and walked one.
“Really, no big adjustments,” Shoemaker said. “Just staying aggressive, attacking the zone. You’ve just got to go out there and keep pitching, keep trying to get outs and put up zeros, and then your team picks you up, which is great.”
The Angels have the day off Thursday and then travel to the Big Apple to start a series against the New York Mets (16-23) Ricky Nolasco (2-2) will make the start for the Halos.