Alberto Callaspo drove in five runs, highlighting a five-run seventh inning with a three-run home run, and Mark Trumbo had a solo homer, a run-scoring double and three runs scored Saturday in the Angels' wild 12-9 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Angel Stadium.
The Angels had a 10-4 lead through seven innings, but the White Sox made the game way too interesting for the Angels and their fans with a five-run eighth inning that cut the lead to 10-9.
But the Angels tacked on two huge insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, and closer Ernesto Frieri struck out the side in the ninth for his eighth save to help the Angels (16-27) snap a three-game losing streak.
The Angels were down, 4-0, when Trumbo led off the fourth inning with his 10th homer of the season, a no-doubt-about-it shot over both bullpens beyond left field. Howie Kendrick flied out, but Callaspo singled, Brendan Harris walked and both runners advanced on Hector Santiago’s wild pitch.
Chris Iannetta walked to load the bases, J.B. Shuck drew a walk to force in a run and Erick Aybar greeted reliever Nate Jones with a sacrifice fly to right to make it 4-3.
Albert Pujols led off the fifth inning with a hustle double, ignoring his sore left foot and right knee on a ball he poked past the first-base bag. Trumbo then lined an RBI double off the base of the right-center-field wall for a 4-4 tie.
Trumbo took third on Kendrick’s grounder to second and scored the go-ahead run on Callaspo’s sacrifice fly to right.
The Angels appeared to blow the game open with a five-run, seventh-inning rally that Trumbo started with a walk. Kendrick singled and Callaspo connected for a three-run homer off reliever Donnie Veal that went just inside the left-field foul pole for an 8-4 lead.
Josh Hamilton, who entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning, singled to center, Iannetta walked and both runners scored on Shuck’s double to right-center field to make it 10-4.
Turns out, the Angels needed every one of those runs as the White Sox rallied in the eighth inning off reliever Garrett Richards and Frieri.
Alexei Ramirez and Jeff Keppinger singled, then Paul Konerko and Dayan Viciedo each knocked in runs with singles to cut the lead to 10-6. With two on, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia summoned Frieri, who gave up a long three-run homer to right by Hector Gimenez that made it 10-9.
Frieri got Tyler Greene to fly to right, ending the inning, and the Angels scored two huge insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth when Mike Trout walked, Pujols stroked a hit-and-run single to right, Kendrick had a run-scoring double to right and Callaspo hit a sacrifice fly.
It seemed remarkable that Joe Blanton, who entered with an 0-7 record and 6.46 earned-run average, didn’t extend his losing streak to eight considering he allowed 15 baserunners on 11 hits, two walks and two hit batters in 4 1/3 innings.
But the right-hander struck out five in the first three innings, escaping a two-on, one-out jam in the first and first-and-third, two-out jams in the second and third to keep the game scoreless.
Blanton slipped off the high wire in the fourth inning, though. Chicago put two on with no outs when Viciedo walked and Gimenez singled. Blanton struck out Greene and got Dewayne Wise to pop out to second, moving one out away from another escape act.
But Blanton hit Ramirez with a pitch to load the bases, Alex Rios chopped a two-run double off the glove of Callaspo at third, and Adam Dunn followed with a two-run single to right for a 4-0 lead.
Robert Coello replaced Blanton with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning and struck out Ramirez and Rios to end the inning. The right-hander retired the side in order in the sixth, and Dane De La Rosa threw a scoreless seventh, provided some much-needed, and short-lived, relief for the Angels.
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