CHICAGO -- There was no way that the Angels could win Game 1 after traveling to three time zones in three days, right? Well, someone forgot to tell the Angels that fact.
Though it was a fairly well matched offensive game, the Angels were the club that came up with the clutch hits when needed in their 3-2 victory over the White Sox in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
Fresh off a thrilling Game 5 win over the Yankees in the ALDS the night before, the Halos struck early and strong pitching helped hold the lead.
Paul Byrd was able to limit the Sox hitters to only seven hits before the bullpen would come in and hold off Chicago's comeback threat. It was enough to win Game 1, but the Angels' offense will have to pick up if wins are to keep coming.
Behind the numbers
The offensive numbers may pale compared to what the Angels are used, but, remember, the team played three game in three cities in three days, traveling an estimated 4,700 miles during the span.
A look at key statistics through Game 1 of the ALCS.
||Relievers step up big to hold lead
||Tired hitters come up with key hits
|BA w/ RISP
||Missed chances don't end up hurting
||Not too bad after traveling coast to coast
||Looked bad but error didn't hurt
||.250 BA, 1 HR, 1 RBI
||Momentum changing home run in second inning
||1-0, 3.00 ERA
||Key pitching performance for injury plagued rotation
||.000 BA, 0 HR, 1 RBI
||Close to breaking out but not yet
Garret Anderson's home run to lead off the second inning helped to change the tide in direction of the Angels. Jose Contreras said that it affected his pitching style and allowed the Angels to score two more in the next inning.
With two runners on and no outs in the third, Chone Figgins laid down a bunt that put both runners in scoring position and both runs would eventually score for a 3-0 lead.
Postseason feels good
Orlando Cabrera has hit safely in all eight career LCS games and in 18 of 20 career postseason games.
Saving the day
Francisco Rodriguez earned his third career postseason save with all three coming in 2005.
"From day one of Spring Training, the only thing we think about is taking it one day at a time and one game at a time. That carries over into the playoffs. You would have expected a number of miscues -- because of the circumstances of what we've been through -- but we played a great game."
-- Bengie Molina
Kelly Thesier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.