White Sox right-hander Hector Noesi didn’t know if it was the one-day delay of his start that affected him, but he felt off from the beginning Tuesday afternoon during an 8-4 loss to the Angels at U.S. Cellular Field.
Noesi gave up five runs on three hits and a career-high seven walks and struck out seven as the Sox fizzled in the opener of a three-game series against the Angels. In a game postponed because of rain Monday, the Sox managed just three hits while breaking a three-game winning streak.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Sox lost to the Angels 7-5. They will try to avoid a six-game season sweep from the Angels in the series finale Wednesday.
“My release point was not good today,” Noesi said. “Something is going to happen when you do that and you leave a few pitches up.”
Sox first baseman Jose Abreu had started off July right, hitting a three-run home run off Angels right-hander Garrett Richards in the first inning. Abreu’s homer to right field was his major league-leading 26th of the season and gave the Sox a 3-0 lead. Adam Eaton and Gordon Beckham walked in the first before Abreu stepped to the plate.
But that was all of the damage for the Sox against Richards, who lasted eight innings, allowing just those three runs on two hits, walking two and striking out nine.
“We got (Richards) early,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Jose got him in the first and after that we didn’t have a lot of good swings against him. He’s got good stuff.”
Angels center fielder Mike Trout had hit a grand slam when the Angels swept the Sox in three games in Anaheim in June, and he served up a reminder of that rough stretch Tuesday.
His three-run homer in the fifth inning tied the game, and Albert Pujols followed with a solo shot to center field to give the Angels a 4-3 lead they never relinquished.
“(Trout) didn't hit that ball good, you know?” Noesi said. “They call here the Windy City, so maybe it was the wind.”
The Angels added another run in the sixth inning after Noesi walked the leadoff batter of an inning for the fifth time. Chris Iannetta then hit an RBI single to center field off Sox reliever Ronald Belisario for a 5-3 Angels lead.
“Locating was the problem (for Noesi),” Ventura said. “He just walked too many people, got behind. And then you get the middle of the plate, you’re going to get hurt, especially with a lineup like this.”
Belisario, pitching for the first time since the Sox took him out of the closer’s role, gave up a solo home run to Josh Hamilton in the seventh inning.
Sox reliever Daniel Webb allowed two more runs, one of which was unearned after an Alexei Ramirez throwing error.
Paul Konerko had a pinch-hit single off reliever Rich Hill in the ninth, and the Sox loaded the bases on walks from Abreu and Adam Dunn. But Ramirez hit into a double play that allowed Konerko to score, and Dayan Viciedo grounded out to end it.
In the second game, the Angels put together a string of four straight singles in the second inning off Sox right-handed starter Scott Carroll and scored three runs for a 3-0 lead.
The Sox pulled within 3-2 in the bottom of the inning when Alexei Ramirez was hit by a pitch and Conor Gillaspie hit his first home run of the season just over the fence in right field off Angels right-hander Jered Weaver.
Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun lengthened their lead to 5-2 in the fifth with a two-run homer off Carroll, and Hank Conger’s RBI single made it 6-2.
The Sox pulled within a run in the sixth inning. Ramirez doubled, Gillaspie followed with an RBI single and Dayan Viciedo hit a two-run homer to left field, his ninth of the season.
The Sox problem with walks continued in the seventh when Carroll walked Calhoun and Trout to start. Reliever Jake Petricka intentionally walked Hamilton and then walked in a run for a 7-5 Angels lead.