Tim Anderson doubled leading off the first inning for the Chicago White Sox against the Los Angeles Angels. The Sox wouldn’t get another hit Friday until José Abreu singled with two outs in the seventh.
The Sox were limited to three hits by emergency starter Jimmy Herget and six other pitchers in a 5-1 loss to the Angels in front of 23,709 at Guaranteed Rate Field — their 10th defeat in the last 11 games.
“Since the first game of the season, we’ve been fighting to get to a rhythm at home plate,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “Everybody is fighting. Everybody is trying to get into that rhythm. We haven’t got to that point yet, but we are still fighting.
“I know everybody is working hard here. Everyone is doing their best to get results, to get out of this tough moment. I have plenty of confidence in everybody here because we know that we have the talent. Then it’s just a matter for us to keep working and keep grinding.”
Homers in the first by Taylor Ward and Shohei Ohtani powered the Angels, who won their sixth straight. Ward finished a triple shy of the cycle and Ohtani scored three runs.
“I would have liked to execute some more pitches than I did in the first inning,” said Sox starter Lucas Giolito, who allowed three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts in six innings. “A couple poor pitches, a couple home runs. And then (in the sixth) against (Anthony) Rendon, not a good first-pitch fastball (that resulted in an RBI double).”
Herget stepped in for Noah Syndergaard, who was a late scratch. Anderson greeted Herget with a double to right and moved to third on a grounder and scored when Yasmani Grandal reached on an error.
The Angels retired the next 18 hitters, a streak that ended with Abreu’s single.
“If you have respect for yourself, if you respect your work, if you have confidence in your talent, you have to keep working,” Abreu said. “I know that the game of baseball can be very difficult but you just need to keep working hard. If you are doing your job, you are doing your preparation, working out and taking care of the stuff you need to take care of to have success, sooner rather than later you’ll have success.
“I know everybody here is doing their best. Everybody here is doing their job. It’s a matter for us to keep doing it, don’t hesitate about our talent and keep working hard.”
The Sox hit a few line drives that were snagged by the Angels.
Center fielder Mike Trout made a leaping catch in the fourth to rob Abreu of a hit on a ball with a 103.9 mph exit velocity, according to MLB Statcast. Luis Robert — who went 0-for-4 in his first game since exiting with a groin strain April 21 in Cleveland — hit a liner with a 114.8 mph exit velocity in the fifth that Trout tracked down. And Rendon caught Andrew Vaughn’s line drive with an exit velocity of 111.3 mph in the seventh.
“I don’t believe in luck, luck doesn’t exist,” Abreu said before joking,“but it seems like the other teams are playing with more players than us.”
Anderson singled with one out in the ninth. The Sox loaded the bases with two outs before Robert flied out to right to end the game.
“It’s (one thing) for me to say that guys are going after it, but when you see a rally like that in the ninth inning, that was close,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “(Robert) gets on base and you’ve got a home run on deck, and who knows? It could’ve been fantasy island.
“The guys are grinding. But whatever the reason, the quality of at-bats can get better, and they’re working on it. It’s starting to show results. I’ve learned a long time ago, if you try to explain yourself it sounds like an excuse. The less you explain, the less excuses people think you’re making. But our offense is going to be fine. We’re going in the right direction.”