The Official Site of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Back-to-back homers propel Angels to win
By Maria Guardado and Steve Dilbeck
ANAHEIM -- Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout smashed back-to-back home runs off Mike Pelfrey in the fifth inning to power the Angels to a 5-3 comeback win over the White Sox in Monday night's series opener at Angel Stadium.
Calhoun blasted a three-run homer to right-center field to tie the game, 3-3, before Trout followed with a solo shot -- his 12th of the season -- to left to put the Halos in front, 4-3. It was the first time the Angels have produced back-to-back home runs this year.
"Unbelievable," Calhoun said. "His first game [back from hamstring tightness] he didn't get a hit, and now he's back to Mike Trout. Every day he's going to amaze you with something."
Martin Maldonado added a solo homer in the seventh to help back a strong outing from Angels right-hander Jesse Chavez, who allowed three runs on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts over seven-plus innings. Chavez became only the second Angels pitcher to work into the eighth this season, though he opened the inning by walking Tyler Saladino, prompting Angels manager Mike Scioscia to lift him in favor of Jose Alvarez. It still marked Chavez's longest start since Aug. 19, 2015.
"I just roll with the punches," Chavez said. "Today he was able to instill that trust in me and go back out there for that eighth. He gave me that leash, and I didn't take advantage of it to earn that trust a little bit, but next time he gives it to me, I'm going to take it."
Chavez retired the first nine batters he faced, but he stumbled in the fourth, yielding a two-run blast to Jose Abreu that gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead. Saladino extended Chicago's lead to 3-0 with an RBI triple in the fifth, but that proved to be the extent of the damage against Chavez.
The White Sox threatened in the ninth, putting runners on first and second with two outs against closer Bud Norris, but Norris struck out Kevan Smith looking to seal the Angels' win. Norris recorded the final four outs of the game to pick up his eighth save of the season.
Pelfrey lasted only 4 2/3 innings in his fifth start of the season for the White Sox, surrendering four runs on three hits while walking three and striking out two. Pelfrey allowed just two baserunners through the first four innings before losing his command in the fifth, when he issued two walks and a pair of homers to fuel the Angels' rally.
"He was throwing a lot of strikes," said White Sox manager Rick Renteria. "His breaking ball was working well. I thought he was working both sides of the plate. In the end, it started to sputter a little bit. He gave us what he could give us. He gave us a chance to win that ballgame. And quite frankly, I didn't take advantage of it."
Pelfrey blamed going deep into counts on too many hitters.
"I'm pretty frustrated," Pelfrey said. "Pretty disappointed. Pretty tough to swallow after being given that 3-nothing lead and giving it right back."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Angels rock Pelfrey for four runs: The Angels had just one hit entering the bottom of the fifth inning, but they erased a three-run deficit by erupting for four runs behind Calhoun and Trout's homers. Still, Cameron Maybin ignited the comeback by drawing a one-out walk on a 3-2 sinker from Pelfrey that appeared to be strike three but was called a ball by home plate umpire Mike DiMuro. Pelfrey then issued another free pass to Danny Espinosa before Maldonado flew out to the warning track in left field for the second out of the inning.
But Pelfrey could not escape trouble, as Calhoun and Trout subsequently went deep to shift the momentum in the Angels' favor. More >
Chavez's shutdown inning: After the Angels took a 4-3 lead, Chavez came out for the sixth and gave up a leadoff single Melky Cabrera, putting the tying run on first for Chicago. Still, Chavez averted danger by coaxing a flyout from Abreu, a forceout from Leury Garcia and a groundout from Todd Frazier to leave the runner stranded, preserving the Halos' slim lead.
HE'S HUMAN Anthony Swarzak allowed a two-out double to Andrelton Simmons in the sixth. The White Sox right-hander had allowed one hit in his previous 48 hitters faced. His scoreless innings streak was extended to 19 2/3 innings.
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox: Left-hander Derek Holland is scheduled to make his eighth start Tuesday at 9:07 p.m. CT. Holland is coming off his worst outing of the season, yet only gave up three earned runs in five innings against the Twins. On the season he is 3-3 with a 2.43 ERA.
Angels: Right-hander JC Ramirez will take the mound for the Angels on Tuesday in the second game of their three-game series against the White Sox at 7:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. In two career relief appearances against Chicago, Ramirez is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA.