Angels 1, White Sox 0: Tons of strikeouts, a few singles, no runs

Reynaldo Lopez throws six shutout innings, but Los Angeles pitchers combine for nine

So when does Jose Abreu get back?

The White Sox lost their fifth straight game, and it’s the first one for which the blame lies squarely on the offense. The lineup could only put together five singles and one HBP. Sure, it came to life with a couple of late threats, but Sox hitters were unable to come up with two-out hits when needed.

That means Reynaldo Lopez walked away with yet another no-decision for one of his best outings of the year. He struck out 10 while allowing just two singles and three walks. Mike Trout had both the hits, of course, but they were inconsequential opposite-field singles.

Lopez did a lot of the lifting with his changeup. It allowed him to save his breaking ball for the second time through, except even then he didn’t go to them often. He threw just 10 breaking balls out of his 105 pitches, and they induced none of the 16 swinging strikes he got on the afternoon.

Alas, once he left, the Angels were able to scrape across the only run of the game. Ian Hamilton gave up a leadoff single that came around to score on Caleb Frare’s watch. Frare threw two pitches in the game, and Kole Calhoun lined the second one to right for an RBI single.

It was a six-pitcher effort for Rick Renteria, although Juan Minaya covered nearly as many outs as the other four relievers combined (four to five).

Somebody was going to have to score at some point, and the White Sox couldn’t do it in regulation. Andrew Heaney worked them over with well-located fastballs and changeups, striking out 12 Sox over seven shutout innings.

The Los Angeles bullpen afforded opportunities in the other two innings.

In the eighth, Yoan Moncada flipped a single to left off Ty Buttrey, then moved to second on Adam Engel’s sac bunt. Daniel Palka lost a seven-pitch fastball by getting frozen on an inside-corner changeup, and Tim Anderson’s line drive found the glove of a sliding Justin Upton in left, who probably didn’t need to slide.

And in the ninth, Mike Scioscia outmaneuvered Renteria for matchups. Yolmer Sanchez led off with a single against Blake Parker, and Matt Davidson got plunked with a slider off his helmet two batters later. That gave the Sox two chances to cash in the tying run, and with Davidson representing the go-ahead run, Renteria pinch-ran Kevan Smith for him. Welington Castillo made a valiant effort, but Mike Trout flagged down his deep drive to center for the second out.

Renteria then subbed Nicky Delmonico for Ryan LaMarre, as he’s 1) a lefty who 2) hit a walk-off against Parker last year. Scioscia came out and brought in Jose Alvarez for the lefty-lefty matchup, and Renteria had no other righties on the bench. Alvarez disposed of Delmonico with five breaking balls.

This is when it would’ve been nice to have Abreu. Or maybe Renteria shouldn’t have pinch-ran for Davidson before he absolutely had to. Or maybe if only the Sox had some other right-handed hitter worthy of a call-up, this whole thing could’ve been avoided.

Bullet points:

*Ryan Cordell airmailed the cutoff man on a throw home, allowing Calhoun to take second after his RBI single. It didn’t cause any further damage.

*Hector Santiago walked the bases loaded in the ninth, requiring Jose Ruiz to come in to get the last out. One benefit of the ugly 31-pitch effort? Sox hitters had no shadow issues to negotiate in the ninth.

*The teams combined for 10 hits and 28 strikeouts.

*Shohei Ohtani had the only extra-base hit of the game, and he was cut down at third by Welington Castillo after a review for the inning-ending SHOTHO.

*For the series, Trout was 8-for-11 with two homers, two walks, an HBP and two strikeouts.

Record: 56-87 | Box score

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Rey and Giolito are showing signs of becoming good starters. They have to pick up the slack from losing Kopech.