ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Chicago White Sox put 10 runners on base against longtime nemesis Jered Weaver and had only two runs to show for it.
The Los Angeles Angels’ ace did just enough to make Adam Dunn’s 450th career home run in the ninth inning against Ernesto Frieri nothing more than a footnote.
Andre Rienzo gave up a leadoff homer to Kole Calhoun and an RBI double by Josh Hamilton in the first inning, then allowed five more runs in the fourth en route to an 8-4 loss Friday night.
Rienzo (4-3) lost his third straight start, throwing 72 pitches over 3 2-3 innings and giving up seven runs on nine hits. Over the previous 15 games, White Sox starters had a combined ERA of 2.03.
Weaver (7-4) won for the sixth time in eight starts, allowing two runs, five hits and four walks in six innings. His teammates staked him to a 7-1 lead through four.
The right-hander struck out nine and improved to 8-2 with a 1.70 ERA in 11 starts against the White Sox.
“Any time we got in scoring position, Weaver just found a way to take a little off and get guys off balance,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “I mean, he wasn’t blowing guys away. He did it with location and mixing speeds, running it in and sinking it away. He just has a deceptive delivery. He’s all long arms and everything, so he’s tough to pick up.”
Calhoun got the Angels off and running with the second leadoff homer of his career, driving Rienzo’s third pitch to right-center. Mike Trout followed with a single, stole second and scored on a double by Hamilton that ended his drought of 27 at-bats without an RBI against White Sox pitching.
The Angels increased the margin to 7-1 with five runs in the third. C.J. Cron hit a two-run double inside first base, Hank Conger snapped an 0-for-18 drought with an RBI single and Calhoun added a two-run double inside first base.
“That inning they just put it together and we couldn’t stop them,” Ventura said. “He got in trouble and just couldn’t find a way out of it. We didn’t get much off Weaver. We had some guys in scoring position and left a lot of guys on base.”
Chicago, starting its third straight series in Southern California, slipped 3 1/2 games behind AL Central-leading Detroit. After this series, the White Sox return home for a four-game showdown with the Tigers.
Alejandro De Aza got the White Sox on the board in the third, leading off the inning with his fifth home run. They loaded the bases, but Weaver minimized the damage by slipping a called third strike past Dunn.
“I’ve faced him a lot of times – and I’m not going to give away any secrets – but I was able to locate a good two-seam fastball in there late and I caught him off guard,” Weaver said. “He’s one of those guys who’s going to punish you if you make a mistake.”
Albert Pujols capped the Angels’ scoring in the eighth with his 15th homer and the 507th of his career. Dunn capped his three-hit night with his 10th homer of the season after a single by Conor Gillaspie.
“Me and Adam have been really good friends over the last 15 years and we actually played minor league ball together,” Pujols said. “He congratulated me today on hitting my 500th home run, saying he forgot about it, and I told him: `Hey, it’s OK. You might be the next one to do it.’ I’m pretty sure he has a shot at it if he stays healthy.”
White Sox rookie sensation Jose Abreu ended up with a gift double in the second when his high fly fell in short right-center between Trout, Calhoun and second baseman Grant Green. But Weaver struck out Dunn and Alexei Ramirez before retiring Dayan Viciedo on a fly ball.
“Those guys across the way have been swinging the bats well, and they’ve got a tremendous talent in Abreu. So it was nice to quiet him down a little bit,” said Weaver, who fanned Abreu in the fifth for his 1,300th strikeout.
NOTES: Dunn drove in Chicago’s second run with a fifth-inning single. … Hamilton played in his 900th regular-season game and fourth since coming off the disabled list.