ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) In a game where offense was hard to come by, Mike Trout's struggles at the plate stood out.
With a chance to get a critical seven-game homestand off to a successful start, he still found a way to create a run, one that didn't require swinging the bat.
“You know, I was grinding a couple at-bats, but just (wanted) to get on base and make things happen,” Trout said after sliding home head-first on the bad throw by Aaron Bummer. “That was a pitching battle, and (we) came out on top. That’s all you can ask for.”
After having struck out in each of his first three appearances, Trout drew a leadoff walk against Reynaldo López (2-5). Bummer then came in to face Ohtani, who drew his own walk. The two Angels superstars successfully executed a double steal, which set up Trout’s heroics and the team's second walk-off win on a wild pitch this season.
“I know Mike struck out three times, but that walk is huge,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “And then he uses his legs. Still an all-around five-tool guy that can make a difference without hitting the way he has. The two best stepped up today, and we usually win those.”
Carlos Estéves (2-1) pitched a scoreless ninth inning to get the win.
Ohtani bolstered his push for American League player of the month by tying it up at 1 with a massive 446 foot blast into right field, his 11th homer in the past 19 games. He has 21 RBIs in that stretch, including four straight games driving in a run.
Luis Robert Jr. homered for the third straight game for the White Sox, who got one runner into scoring position.
“That ninth inning gets magnified, but one run is not going to cut it,” Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said. “That’s just the way it is in this league.”
Robert’s solo shot to left field in the first inning was his 22nd of the season, continuing a hot streak for the 25-year-old that included being named AL player of the week on Monday after hitting .400 (6 for 15) with three homers and four RBIs in four games against Texas and Boston. He went deep twice in a 4-1 win on Sunday to put an exclamation point on the series.
Robert and Ohtani were the only batters to break through on a night of outstanding starting pitching from the Angels’ Reid Detmers and Dylan Cease for the White Sox.
Detmers had eight strikeouts while allowing one run, two hits and one walk in six innings.
“He gets better and better each start,” Nevin said. “He’s starting to understand what that slider does. He’s able to control not only the velocity but the shapes.”
Cease struck out 10 in six-plus innings, giving up one run, five hits and one walk. He left after allowing singles to Brandon Drury and Mike Moustakas, but Joe Kelly came in to strike out Taylor Ward and get Matt Thaiss to hit into a double play.
“Obviously losing is always tough, but I’m proud of how we fought,” Cease said. “It was a close game, and sometimes that’s just the way they end.”
Moustakas made his Angels debut after being acquired in a trade from Colorado on Saturday, going 1 for 3 and playing first base.
The Angels put newly acquired IF Eduardo Escobar on the restricted list Monday so he can take a test to become an American citizen on Tuesday. General manager Perry Minasian said Escobar will be back in the lineup by Wednesday, with a chance of playing Tuesday night.
“It was really, really important to him, and I don’t blame him,” Minasian said.
The Venezuelan-born Escobar was added in a trade from the Mets on Friday to help bolster an injury-depleted infield for the Angels, who recently lost Gio Urshela to a likely season-ending broken pelvis and have 3B Anthony Rendon and rookie SS Zach Neto on the injured list.
White Sox: RHP Michael Kopech (3-6) hasn’t gone past the fifth inning in any of his past three starts. He took the loss against Texas on Wednesday after giving up three runs in four innings.
Angels: Ohtani (6-3) had one of his better outings of the season despite taking the loss in 2 -0 defeat against the Dodgers on Wednesday, allowing one run on five hits in seven innings while striking out 12.
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