White Sox slip past Saunders

White Sox slip past Saunders

ANAHEIM -- Joe Saunders just wanted to pitch as deep as he could on Tuesday against the White Sox after the Angels used five pitchers on Monday.

Saunders accomplished his goal by tossing 6 2/3 effective innings, but he simply wasn't helped out by an Angels offense that struggled against a familiar face in right-hander Bartolo Colon, who pitched with the club from 2004-07 and won the Cy Young in 2005.

Colon limited the Angels to just four hits and a run through 6 2/3 innings as the Angels fell to the White Sox, 4-2, at Angel Stadium.

"You have to tip your cap to Bartolo," Saunders said. "He pitched a good game and shut us down. I just wanted to eat some innings after yesterday's debacle, but things just happen."

Saunders pitched in and out of jams all night but was ultimately done in by two solo home runs by Jayson Nix and an RBI single by Paul Konerko with the bases loaded in the sixth inning.

It was the first multihomer game of Nix's career, and it caught Saunders by surprise.

"I didn't know he had that in his game," said Saunders. "So you live and you learn and go from there."

Saunders allowed seven hits and struck out just four batters but made the strikeouts count as he ended both the third and fourth innings with punchouts with a runner on third. And in the sixth, after Konerko's one-out single with the bases loaded, he struck out Brian Anderson and got Josh Fields to fly out to end the threat.

"I thought Joe pitched well," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I thought he had a live fastball and a good sinker, but Nix just got extended and hit a couple of home runs. Other than that, I thought he pitched a good ballgame."

The Angels' offense, meanwhile, struggled against Colon, managing just four hits against the right-hander.

Their lone run against Colon came in the seventh inning on Bobby Abreu's first home run for the Angels.

"I've pitched here for a long time, and I'm familiar with the ballpark," Colon said through White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves. "I have a lot of friends here. I was a little nervous at one time, but I've always pitched well against them even though they always have great teams. It was home at one time, and it felt like I was home."

The White Sox added to their lead with a run in the ninth inning against Matt Palmer, who actually started on Sunday but pitched because of the Angels' depleted bullpen depth after Monday's game.

Jermaine Dye hit an RBI single and Palmer then loaded the bases with one out before striking out Konerko and getting Anderson to pop out to end the inning.

The Angels threatened in the ninth when Torii Hunter hit a home run against White Sox reliever Scott Linebrink with one out in the inning. Kendry Morales then grounded out on a first-pitch fastball before Juan Rivera singled to put the tying runner on base. But Mike Napoli popped on the first pitch he saw to end the game.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.