Stumbling into the series with six losses in seven games, the Angels have easily taken the first two contests to move five games over .500. A win Thursday will give the Angels their first three-game sweep of the White Sox in Chicago since May 19-21, 1995.
On Wednesday, Jarrod Washburn pitched a four-hitter for his first career shutout, and Jose Guillen homered twice and drove in five runs to lead the Angels to a 12-0 win. Guillen has 15 homers and 63 RBIs to go along with a .301 batting average.
Guillen’s last multihomer game came on Aug. 16. He’s had five RBIs three times, most recently on Sept. 9, 2002.
Mike Scioscia said it was the best game he’s seen Washburn pitch in his five years as Angels manager.
“As far as going after a tough, right-handed hitting lineup, and the way those guys can break open a game at any time, and knowing what he wanted to do out there, this is by far the best game I’ve ever seen him pitch,” Scioscia said.
Hoping to follow Washburn’s example Thursday is Aaron Sele, who’s looking to improve to 6-0. In his last start, a 7-3 win over Los Angeles on Friday, Sele pitched seven innings and allowed three runs and three hits.
Sele struggled through his three prior starts, allowing 12 runs and 20 hits in 15 innings.
The White Sox, meanwhile, are trying to avoid their first six-game losing streak since Aug. 14-20, 2002.
On Wednesday, Scott Schoeneweis lost his fifth straight decision, giving up six runs and five hits in five innings in Chicago’s worst loss of the season.
The White Sox have scored just nine runs in the past six games. Slugger Frank Thomas sat out Wednesday’s game with inflammation in his left ankle. He will probably miss Thursday’s game as well, but is expected to return to the lineup Friday.
After going 0-for-3 with a walk in Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to Anaheim, Thomas has just four hits in his last 34 at-bats.