On Wednesday, the White Sox lost 2-1 to the Angels, falling 1 1/2 games behind division-leading Kansas City, which routed the New York Yankees 11-0.
“This was a frustrating loss,” said starter Mark Buehrle, who gave up two earned runs and 10 hits in seven innings. “I’ve been getting a lot of run support lately, and the offense has been piling up runs since the All-Star break.
“But it happens. We have to regroup and try to split tomorrow.”
The setback was Chicago’s third in the five games since they took a half-game lead over the Royals last Friday—their first time atop of the division since May 25, 2002. Kansas City has won four of five during that same stretch.
Since Friday, the White Sox had a chance to regain first place three times, but Kansas City has won on each occasion.
Nonetheless, the White Sox have been impressive since the All-Star break.
Through the first half of the season, Chicago was a disappointing four games under .500 (45-49). However, since the break, they have gone 18-8 to pull themselves back into postseason contention.
The White Sox will turn to Jon Garland on Thursday. The California native has not done well against Anaheim in the past. He has allowed 27 hits and 13 earned runs in just 18 innings against the Angels, earning a 1-3 record and a 6.50 ERA in four starts.
STANDINGS: White Sox - 2nd place, 1 1/2 GB, AL Central. Angels - 3rd place, 17 GB, AL West.
WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Garland (8-8, 4.61 ERA). Garland gave up six runs, three earned, and nine hits in five innings of Saturday’s 7-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics.
ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Scot Shields (2-3, 2.23 ERA). Shields gave up three earned runs and six hits in seven innings of a 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians—his second straight setback—last Saturday. He has made only one career appearance against the White Sox, giving up just one hit in one scoreless inning.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: White Sox - Magglio Ordonez, .318 avg. and 73 runs; Frank Thomas, 28 HRs; Lee, 82 RBIs and 11 SBs. Angels - Garret Anderson, .313 avg., 26 HRs and 94 RBIs; Tim Salmon, 62 runs; Adam Kennedy, 15 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Angels, 2-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: White Sox - RHP Jon Adkins was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to fill the roster spot opened when RHP Billy Koch was placed on the 15-day disabled list with soreness in his elbow. … 3B Joe Crede, whose .225 average at the All-Star break was the second-lowest among AL players with at least 300 at-bats, has improved to .242 with 19 hits in his last 55 at-bats. … RHP Garland is 5-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 11 home starts this season. Angels - On Wednesday, RHP Troy Percival earned his 24th save in 25 attempts. … SS David Eckstein sat out for the second straight game Wednesday with a tight right hamstring. However, manager Mike Scioscia said Eckstein, who took batting practice Wednesday, would probably be back Thursday. … The Angels have not won consecutive games since the All-Star break.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: White Sox - 26-35 on the road; Angels - 33-29 at home.
INJURIES: White Sox - RHP Koch (elbow), 15-day DL. Angels - 1B-DH Brad Fullmer (knee), 15-day DL; 3B Troy Glaus (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Darin Erstad (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL; SS Eckstein (hamstring), day-to-day.