If nothing else, the fans who went to Guaranteed Rate Field to watch the White Sox lose their fourth straight game will at least come away with a Mike Trout story to pass down to future generations.
The best player in baseball had one of his best-ever games. Trout homered twice during his second-ever five-hit game, basically deciding the game through four innings by himself. Jace Fry, Thyago Vieira and the White Sox defense teamed up to make a mess of the ninth that resulted in the other six runs.
James Shields was the one who got posterized. He gave up a two-run shot to Trout in the first, then pounded a third consecutive two-strike curveball over the White Sox bullpen for a three-run blast that gave the Angels all the runs they needed.
The White Sox offense had moments, but not any big ones that could counter what Trout hath wrought. It looked promising when Yoan Moncada and Yolmer Sanchez opened the game with consecutive doubles, but Sanchez didn’t get a great read on Daniel Palka’s one-out single to left, and Welington Castillo grounded into a double play to keep it a 3-1 game.
In the third, Sanchez doubled again with two outs, then scored on an Avisail Garcia flare the wind knocked down just inside the right field line behind first base.
Kevan Smith came the closest to scoring multiple runs in one swing, but his deep drive into the teeth of the wind hit the bottom of the left center wall, and only cut the lead to 6-3.
The first four White Sox relievers were able to preserve that margin after Shields was knocked out in the fifth. Juan Minaya found it strikeout stuff to end the fifth and sixth inning, and Caleb Frare and Ian Hamilton each handled an inning to get it to the ninth.
Then the wheels came off. Jace Fry’s night started with a Tim Anderson error — he did the tough part by rounding off a roller up the middle, but rushed the throw wide of Matt Davidson. Fry then walked David Fletcher on 10 pitches, and Mike Trout laid off three consecutive two-strike pitches before muscling a bases-loading single to shallow right center.
Shohei Ohtani then promptly unloaded them with a rifled triple past Davidson at first. It looked like Ohtani gave an inside-the-parker some thought. He scored two batters and one pitch later, although he took a lump in doing so. Thyago Vieira fired an 0-2 fastball to the backstop and in his attempt to cover home, he banged knees with a sliding Ohtani.
Both players walked it off, but Vieira’s night took longer to finish. He threw just 11 of 23 pitches for strikes, including three wild pitches. Another pitch went to the backstop, but Smith corralled the carom and covered the plate in time to catch Kaleb Cowart to bring the inning to a merciful end.
*Smith cut down Ohtani with a perfect throw at second, giving him three kills on the year as opposed to 38 steals.
*Minaya created some of his own trouble with an errant pickoff throw that moved a runner to third with one out.
Record: 58-86 | Box score