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Angels score season-high amount of runs in 12-9 win over White Sox

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- At this point, there is no such thing as winning ugly for the Los Angeles Angels.

Going into Saturday's game against the Chicago White Sox with a 15-27 record -- their worst start through 42 games in 37 years -- the last thing the Angels will care about is putting together a victory that is nice and tidy.

And this one wasn't.

The Angels rallied from a four-run deficit and scored a season-high in runs but had to hold on to eke out a 12-9 win over the White Sox at Angel Stadium.

"No game is ugly, it's just a game, no matter how you win or how you lose," Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols said. "You look at their ballclub, there's no easy outs on their side either.

"And our ballclub, when we get it going, we can score any time in the game. It seems like this year it hasn't been that for the most part. But we know what we have, so the sooner we can continue to push and have good, quality at-bats, that's all you can do."

Alberto Callaspo hit a three-run home run during a five-run seventh inning that gave the Angels a seemingly comfortable 10-4 lead entering the eighth.

But Angels reliever Garrett Richards gave up two runs before manager Mike Scioscia went to his closer, Ernesto Frieri. On Frieri's second pitch, White Sox catcher Hector Gimenez blasted a three-run homer to cut the Angels' lead to 10-9.

The Angels managed to push across two more runs in the bottom of the eighth to give Frieri a little breathing room, and he pitched a scoreless ninth for his eighth save.

The Angels' 12 runs were the most they've scored all season, the previous high being 10 against the Tigers on April 20. Mark Trumbo hit his team-leading 10th homer and drove in two runs, Callaspo drove in five with his three-run homer and two sacrifice flies, and outfielder J.B. Shuck had two hits in three RBI.

"As the game went on, we had a great blend of driving the ball, good situational hitting, we took our walks, ran the bases well and we needed every one of them as it turned out," Scioscia said. "It's good to see. We need to start to have those breakout games here and there and take a little pressure off our pitching staff."

The Angels offense first got rolling at the expense of starter Hector Santiago, who gave up three runs and four hits in just 3 1/3 innings. With John Danks expected to come off the disabled list and rejoin the starting rotation in the next week or so, Santiago could be the odd man out.

"It's not an easy decision," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "But you look at it and weigh it and go from there."

Ah yes, the pitching staff. The White Sox battered five pitchers for a season-high 17 hits, including four from Gimenez and three each from Alexei Ramirez and Paul Konerko.

There was one Angels pitcher, though, who put in a strong performance.

Reliever Robert Coello (1-0) earned his first career major-league victory by retiring all five batters he faced, including key strikeouts of Ramirez and Alex Rios in the fifth inning that bailed out starter Joe Blanton, who had another poor outing.

Blanton gave up four runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings. White Sox reliever Nate Jones (0-4) got the loss in relief of starter Hector Santiago (3 1/3 innings, 3 runs, 4 hits).

"Those are five huge outs to get in the middle of the game," Scioscia said. "First getting out of it and minimizing some damage, then holding a lead. We need that kind of contribution from the bullpen."

Blanton walked a high wire in the first three innings, giving up two hits in each inning but escaping unscathed. But the White Sox finally broke through in the fourth inning.

With two on and two out, Blanton hit Ramirez in the back with a pitch. Ramirez glared at Blanton as he walked to first, though it's doubtful there was intent considering Rios, the White Sox's hottest hitter, was coming to the plate.

Rios hit a high chopper off the glove of a Alberto Callaspo at third, the ball trickling into shallow left field for a two-run double.

Adam Dunn followed with a two-run single and a 4-0 White Sox lead.

"A lot of singles today," Blanton said of his start. "A lot of balls finding holes, and bleeders and chops off the plate. I really had to try to battle through. I went as hard as I could as long as I could, and the bullpen came in and picked me up."

NOTES: Angels RF Josh Hamilton was a late scratch from Saturday's lineup. Hamilton was originally slated to bat fifth and play right field, but the initial explanation was that he needed to "recharge." Hamilton entered the game in the top of the seventh and had a single and walk in two plate appearances. ... Angels RHP Jered Weaver felt fine Saturday after throwing a four-inning, 60-pitch simulated game on Friday. Weaver, recovering from a broken bone in his left (non-throwing) elbow, is expected to begin a rehab assignment next week. He'll likely make two rehab starts before rejoining the big club, probably around June 1. ... Chicago's Dunn had to leave Saturday's game after the fourth inning because of back spasms. Jeff Keppinger replaced Dunn at first. ... White Sox RF Rios singled in the first inning Saturday, extending his hitting streak to 13 consecutive games. He hit .388 (19-for-49) during the first 12 games of the streak.
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