CHICAGO (AP) — Mike Trout homered, doubled and scored three runs, Michael Lorenzen pitched into the ninth inning and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Chicago White Sox 6-5 Sunday for their seventh win in eight games.
Shohei Ohtani had an RBI as the Angels’ designated hitter. The two-way AL MVP went 0 for 3 and exited in the ninth inning because of tightness in his right groin.
Manager Joe Maddon said Ohtani might have tweaked his groin running to first in the seventh inning on a grounder back to pitcher Jose Ruiz that the White Sox turned into a double play.
Through a translator Ohtani said, “I was taken out for safety reasons. I was perfectly OK with it.”
The Japanese-born star said he expects to play on Monday in Chicago against the White Sox.
Trout walked in three other plate appearances. Andrew Velazquez and Jo Adell each doubled in a run and Anthony Rendon each had an RBI as the Angels took a 6-0 lead.
Despite batting .344 — and a major-league leading 1.247 OPS — Trout says he’s still not completely comfortable at the plate yet.
“Some pitches I’m feeling good and some pitches I don’t,” Trout said. “Today I felt pretty good out there.”
So did Lorenzen (3-1), who took a bid for his first career complete game into the ninth before the White Sox scored five times in a wild finish.
Ryan Tepera, the Angels’ third pitcher of the inning, retired Gavin Sheets on a bases-loaded grounder for the final out. Chicago has lost 11 of 13.
Lorenzen gave up singles to Jose Abreu and Sheets singled to begin the ninth, then was pulled with one out after Leury Garcia’s two-run double.
Reliever Raisel Iglesias allowed an RBI double by Josh Harrison and singles to Tim Anderson and Luis Robert as Chicago closed to 6-4. Iglesias walked Yasmani Grandal to load the bases with two outs and hit Abreu with a pitch to force in a run.
Tepera took over and earned his first save.
The White Sox had to take solace in a rally that fell just short.
“I was pleased with them, not only just in the ninth,” Chicago manager Tony La Russa said. “We had a bunch of hits against a guy (Lorenzen) who really pitched well.
“It’s just what we did in the ninth inning was very special, could have been real special. We took our shot,” he said.
Still, Lorenzen was mostly sharp for a second straight start and third in four since signing a one-year contract with the Angels last November. The right-hander allowed three runs and nine hits, while walking two and striking two in 8 1/3 innings.
Lorenzen, who grew up in Anaheim and went to Cal State Fullerton, had never pitched more than seven innings in a game — doing it twice in his rookie year with Cincinnati in 2015.
“I don’t think I ever got too hot or too cold and just stayed level,” Lorenzen said. “I didn’t throw too many stressful pitches. I might have reached back for three pitches today.”
And the righty wants to continue with that approach, especially after abruptly losing his complete game and shutout bids.
“It’s a perfect little punch in the face to keep me motivated for the next start,” Lorenzen said.
Dallas Keuchel (1-3) labored through five innings, giving up four runs on six hits and five walks. The 2015 AL Cy Young winner’s ERA is 8.40.
“Like a lot of pitchers, he go hurt by the center fielder (Trout),” La Russa said. “Happens to a lot of guys in this league.”
Trout hit his sixth homer, a solo drive in the first.
Lorenzen hasn’t been a regular starter since 2015 season with the Reds, who used him mostly out of the bullpen the past six years. Sunday’s start was the 30th of the 30-year-old’s career in 299 appearances.
Lorenzen wanted start more with the Reds, though. “I begged them to let me start every day of my career there,” he said.
Los Angeles recalled LHP Kenny Rosenberg from Triple-A Salt Lake and optioned LHP José Suarez.
Angels: Placed INF Matt Duffy (undisclosed condition) on the IL and recalled INF Jack Mayfield from the taxi squad. … RHP Noah Syndergaard (illness) threw a bullpen session after being scratched from his start on Friday. Maddon said “Thor” will pitch on Tuesday in Boston. Syndergaard is 2-0 with 2.12 ERA as he comes back from Tommy John surgery.
White Sox: OF Andrew Vaughn (right wrist) could be back in the lineup on Monday after getting hit with a pitch on Friday, manager Tony La Russa said. … INF Yoán Moncada (right oblique strain) went 2 for 4 with a homer in the second game of a rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday. The slugging third baseman has been out since spring training. … RHP Joe Kelly (right biceps nerve injury) pitched a scoreless inning for Charlotte on Sunday in his rehab assignment.
Angels LHP Patrick Sandoval (1-0, 0.00) takes the mound against White Sox RHP Dylan Cease (2-1, 3.27) in the four-game series finale on Monday afternoon.
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