Angel Stadium is a phone booth. The Angels’ white jerseys are Superman capes. The same men who played baseball like a bunch of mild-mannered reporters on a 3-7 road trip were men of steel Friday. The only difference was the venue. The Angels’ offense picked up where it left off in beating the Chicago White Sox 8-4 before an announced crowd of 38,521. Kole Calhoun and Josh Hamilton each went 2 for 4, and Calhoun began the game with a home run. That helped make a winner of Jered Weaver (7-4), who pitched out of trouble on several occasions in six innings. The White Sox left 11 runners on base. Calhoun and Hamilton have both missed significant time with injuries this season. Were their quality at-bats Friday a result of shaking off rust, or being in a comfortable setting? “I don’t know if we have to look at the reason why,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re happy it was here tonight and hopefully it continues.” The Angels are 16-10 at home since getting swept in their season-opening series. They’re 15-13 on the road. Weaver, who was pummeled for 11 hits in his previous outing in Oakland, looked a lot less human Friday. His curveball was particularly problematic for the White Sox, who swung and missed at nine of them. Weaver got batters to swing and miss at 16 curveballs the entire month of May. “The curveball was pretty sharp,” he said. “I was able to locate it when I needed to. Turns out that’s a good pitch against that lineup. They have a tremendous talent in (Jose) Abreu. It’s nice to shut him down a little bit.” Abreu, who is third in the American League with 17 home runs, was 1 for 4. His double in the second inning didn’t lead to any runs. Weaver allowed five hits and two runs in six innings. He set season highs in walks (four) and strikeouts (nine). The only thing Weaver lacked was fastball command. By the fifth inning, he was past the 100-pitch plateau. By then, the Angels were ahead by five runs and Angels manager Mike Scioscia could cherry-pick his choice of relievers. “The story was the offense,” Weaver said. “The offense did a tremendous job taking a little bit of the pressure off me.” A five-run rally against Chicago right-hander Andre Rienzo (4-3) in the fourth inning began with two outs, when C.J. Cron hit a two-run double down the left-field line. “Any runs you can get with two outs kind of deflates the pitcher,” Cron said. “It was a close game, 2-1, and that puts us up with two outs. We kind of rode that out the whole game.” The Angels didn’t stop there. Hank Conger snapped an 0-for-18 skid with a single to score Cron. Grant Green singled. Calhoun, coming off a tepid road trip of his own, hit a line drive into right field that scored both runners, giving the Angels a 7-1 lead. Albert Pujols’ 507th career home run gave the Angels their final run. The win kept the Angels five and a half games behind the Oakland A’s for first place in the American League West.
Rejuvenated Angels hand Chicago White Sox 8-4 loss
L.A. Daily News | Jun 7