Struggling White Sox show some life in 4-0 win over Angels

The White Sox finally showed some life.

Tim Anderson led off the game with a solo home run, Luis Robert hit a three-run shot and Vince Velasquez threw 5 2/3 scoreless inningsto give the Sox a 4-0win Saturday over the Angels. The Sox had lost 10 of 11 and scored 32 runs over their prior 14 games, but there were some positive signs against Los Angeles even though they went 2for 12with runners in scoring position.

Velasquez was coming off a poor April 23 start at Minnesota when he allowed five runs in 3 1/3 innings. With severe weather bearing down on Guaranteed Rate Field, Velasquez was substantially better Saturday and had the Sox’ longest scoreless start of the year.

Velasquez struck out six, walked none, got 13 swinging strikes and held Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani to a combined 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Velasquez and Trout were in the middle of an eight-pitch duel with two outs in the sixth before the game was delayed for 61minutes, interrupting an at-bat with a 2-2 count.

When play resumed, Tanner Banks replaced Velasquez and got Trout to ground out.

“I’ve seen potential. He’s made a lot of good pitches,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said of Velasquez. “Victimized a little bit, a few misses. There are times you get away with it, and times you don’t and he hasn’t gotten away with some of them. But he’s got a good mix and strong arm.”

The Sox took a 1-0 lead on the first pitch they saw when Anderson drove a Jose Suarez fastball over the fence in right-center. The drive was Anderson’s 15th career leadoff homer and second this season.

Their issues with hitting with runners in scoring position bit them in the third. Josh Harrison singled with one out and reached third when Angels first baseman Jared Walsh whiffed on a pickoff throw. Harrison was stranded after Robert grounded out to second and AJ Pollock struck out.

The fourth had a similar vibe after Jose Abreu and Yasmani Grandal began the inning with singles. Again, the Sox missed a chance to score when Jake Burger struck out, and Adam Engel and Reese McGuire flew out.

Velasquez had allowed nine straight before a fifth-inning two-out Kurt Suzuki infield single that Anderson couldn’t corral. Tyler Wade followed with a single but Velasquez kept the Angels scoreless when David Fletcher flew out to center.

The fifth inning is when the rain finally arrived. The Sox offense did, too, with Robert hitting his third home run and first since April 13.

“That’s what we talked about all spring, we’ve got a deep lineup,” La Russa said. “Got to stay positive and keep working.”

Los Angeles threatened Kendall Graveman in the eighth, as Wade and Fletcher singled with one out. Taylor Ward popped to short and Graveman got out of the inning when Brandon Marsh struck out looking at a slider that appeared to be outside, leaving Trout on the on-deck circle and the Angels upset at umpire Larry Vanover’s call.

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