The Los Angeles Angels ended yet another losing streak Saturday, using a big offensive performance against the Chicago White Sox. They'll try to salvage a four-game split with Chicago on Sunday at Angel Stadium, though they've struggled to string together victories all year.
The Angels (16-27) set a season high for runs in a 12-9 win on Saturday, ending their three-game skid - already their fifth this season of three or more games - while also ending the White Sox's four-game winning streak.
Los Angeles, which is just 5-10 following victories, blew open the game with a five-run seventh inning, sparked by Alberto Callaspo's three-run homer. Though the White Sox (19-22) followed with a five-run eighth of their own, Los Angeles responded with two more runs in the bottom of the inning, including an of Callaspo's five RBIs on the day.
Howie Kendrick was also 2 for 5 with a double and is 10 for 20 over his last five games.
"I mean, you look at their ballclub and there's no easy out on their side, either. But when we get it going, we're a pretty good ballclub and we can score runs at any time in the game," Albert Pujols said.
After Hector Santiago lasted just 3 1-3 innings Saturday, the White Sox hope Jake Peavy (5-1, 2.96 ERA) can win his fourth consecutive start. Peavy, who was 18-19 with a 3.89 ERA over the last two seasons, looks more like the dominant pitcher he was prior to a 2010 operation on his right shoulder.
He's currently striking out a career-best 10.1 batters per nine innings and fanned six on Tuesday while yielding two runs and five hits over seven innings in a 4-2 win at Minnesota.
"He's further removed from surgery. He's just stronger," manager Robin Ventura said. "He has more belief as far as in his mind he doesn't have any hesitation of letting it go. I think last year he might have held back a little bit. But this year he's pitching free.''
Peavy will have to turn around his struggles against the Angels, against whom he's 0-3 with a 6.08 ERA over five starts.
Los Angeles starter Jason Vargas (2-3, 4.03 ERA) would also like to change course from his history versus the White Sox, whom he's 0-1 with an 8.04 ERA against across five starts. The left-hander is coming off one of his better performances this season, a seven-inning effort in which he gave up two runs and five hits in a 6-2 win over the Royals on Tuesday.
Josh Hamilton was a late scratch for the Angels on Saturday due to what a team spokesman called a "day off, to recharge" after initially being scheduled to bat fifth. Hamilton, who had gone 10 for 51 over his previous 14 games, was slotted into right field as a defensive substitute in the seventh inning and singled.
He's 7 for 15 against with two homers lifetime against Peavy.
Adam Dunn's status is unclear as he left in the fifth Saturday with back spasms.
Alex Rios extended his hitting streak to 13 games, going 2 for 4 with two RBIs. He's driven in 11 runs with a .755 slugging percentage during the streak.