Playing against the top teams in the AL seems to be bringing out the best in the Chicago White Sox. A few more games against elite opponents and they might be one themselves.
The White Sox look to win for the fifth time in six games on a challenging homestand Wednesday night when they face the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels.
After taking three of four from the first-place New York Yankees over the weekend, Chicago (55-52) opened this series against Los Angeles (63-41) with a 5-4 victory Tuesday. The Angels, owners of the best record in the AL, took a 4-3 lead in the fifth on Bobby Abreu’s(notes) sacrifice fly, but were unable to hold on for a sixth straight win.
Rookie Gordon Beckham(notes), who went 7 for 19 with five doubles and seven RBIs against the Yankees, tied it in the seventh with an RBI single, and Scott Podsednik(notes) singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth for his third game-ending hit of the season.
With the victory, Chicago pulled within a game of Detroit for first place in the AL Central. The White Sox have won nine of 12 at home.
Beckham, named AL rookie of the month for July on Tuesday, hit his sixth home run in the first inning. He’s batting .418 (18 for 43) in his last 11 games with 15 RBIs and nine extra-base hits.
The loss ended an eight-game road winning streak for Los Angeles, which got designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero(notes) back after he missed 21 games with a strained left calf and a strained lower left hamstring. Guerrero went 1 for 3 with a walk as the Angels dropped to 20-22 with him in the lineup.
The Angels were hoping Guerrero’s return would make their offense even more dangerous. They entered Tuesday having scored 51 runs in their previous five games while hitting .365, but they managed just five hits in the loss.
Floyd didn’t receive a decision against the Yankees on Thursday despite allowing one run and four hits over 7 2-3 innings while striking out a season-high 10 in his club’s 3-2 win.
The White Sox have won Floyd’s last eight home starts, during which the right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.92 ERA.
He pitched eight innings against the Angels in Anaheim on May 27, allowing three runs and striking out eight in a 3-1 loss.
Abreu is 4 for 11 (.364) with two doubles against Floyd.
O’Sullivan was sent down after giving up two runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 10-2 win against Kansas City on July 21. The Angels are 5-0 with the 21-year-old rookie right-hander on the mound.
All three of O’Sullivan’s wins have come on the road, where he has a 2.45 ERA. He pitched a no-hitter in a Triple-A start last week.