After the craziness of last night, and then the worrying today when we all found out that Barry Enright was going to be making the start, this one didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it would. Enright was as bad as I thought he would be, but the offense showed up in a big way, and secured the win in the opener of this three-game, Mother’s Day weekend, series with the Chicago White Sox.
After going quietly in the first inning, the Angels watched as Enright served up a first-inning leadoff home run to Alejandro De Aza. But this team is probably used to playing catch up, so phase them, it did not. A couple quiet innings later, and the Angels offense woke up in a big way when they sent eight men to the plate in the third inning. A sacrifice fly off the bat of J.B. Shuck brought in Hank Conger. Two batters later, Albert Pujols doubled home Brendan Harris and Mike Trout. And right after Pujols, Mark Trumbo singled home Albert to give the Angels a 4-1 lead. That lead was further enhanced by Harris who hit his second home run in as many days, giving the Angels a commanding 5-1 lead. Well, it would’ve been commanding had it not been for the starting pitcher on this night.
Enright came back out in the bottom of the fourth inning, and proceeded to get one batter out. A double for Alex Rios, which was followed by consecutive walks to Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko, set the tone for the inning. A passed ball would bring home Rios, and then a Dayan Viciedo double would bring home Konerko and Dunn. Enright was pulled in favor of Mark Lowe who, two batters later, gave up an RBI single to Tyler Flowers. Putting everybody back at square one, and erasing the four-run lead that the offense had built.
The Bullpen then did something that it hasn’t done with much regularity this season. It settled down. Lowe, Michael Kohn and Dane De La Rosa teamed up to retire 13 of the 15 batters they would face from the fifth inning through the eighth inning. This, of course, worked out wonderfully for the offense, as they pushed across two runs in the seventh on a Mike Trout RBI single and a passed ball. They threatened for more by loading the bases with only one out, but those bases were loaded for Josh Hamilton and Howie Kendrick. You can draw your own conclusions.
After four shutout innings from the Angels pen, the ball was handed off to Ernesto Frieri. Frieri, who locked down a five-out save last night, walked the first batter he faced, and then proceeded to set the next three down in order. The Halo was then lit up by the magic of one thousand children’s dreams, and it’s brightness shined brighter than ever.
This was a good win for a team that, despite winning last night, is still scuffling for any W’s they can get. But I’ll take it, you’ll take it, and you better believe that they’ll take it. The team’s record moves to 13-22 as they head into tomorrow’s mid-afternoon game (4:10 PM PST start time) in the Windy City. Jerome Williams takes the ball for the Halos as the White Sox send Jose Quintana to the mound. In the immortal words of Lou Brown; “That’s two in a row. One more, and that’s called; ‘a winning streak.’ It has happened before.” Let’s make it happen again.