ANAHEIM — The Angels used some small ball and execution to beat the Chicago White Sox, 4-3, on Monday night.
In an era when baseball teams have virtually abandoned the sacrifice bunt, the Angels employed it to set up the go-ahead runs in the seventh inning.
Trailing 3-2, Max Stassi drew a walk to lead off the inning. Brandon Marsh then poked a single into left field.
No. 9 hitter Andrew Velazquez then put a perfect bunt down the third base line, moving the runners to second and third.
Taylor Ward followed with a drive into right-center. Center fielder Luis Robert raced back to the fence but couldn’t hold the ball, as both runners scored to put the Angels ahead.
Relievers Ryan Tepera and Raisel Iglesias – who were each available because they are appealing the suspensions levied against them earlier in the day – then held the lead over the final two innings.
Noah Syndergaard earned the victory, allowing three runs in seven innings on just 79 pitches. He struck out seven, equaling his season high, and he walked just one.
Syndergaard retired the first nine hitters on just 28 pitches, with four strikeouts.
He worked around hits in the fourth and fifth, both times stranding runners at third base.
The White Sox got to him for two runs in the sixth, though. Syndergaard issued a one-out walk to Tim Anderson and then Andrew Vaughn yanked a first-pitch changeup down the left field line for a run-scoring double.
Luis Robert hit a ball into the left-center field gap, but Syndergaard was saved by a diving catch by Brandon Marsh. Jose Abreu then crushed one over Marsh’s head and off the fence, for a double that tied the score, 2-2.
In the seventh, Syndergaard gave up a leadoff single to Gavin Sheets. Seby Zavala dropped down a bunt that Syndergaard bobbled, allowing everyone to be safe. Josh Harrison singled to drive in a run, but the Angels cut off the throw from center and got Zavala too far off the base. Lenyn Sosa then hit in a double play.
Syndergaard kept the White Sox from having any big innings, which allowed the Angels to stick around despite not doing much with right-hander Lucas Giolito, the former Harvard-Westlake standout.
The Angels wasted leadoff singles in the first and fourth innings. In the third, they had runners at first and second with one out, but Jared Walsh hit into a double play.
The only two runs the Angels scored against Giolito came in the second.
Walsh singled and then Marsh tripled, hitting a ball to right field that Sheets couldn’t hold in his glove as he raced back toward the fence. Marsh then scored when Velazquez smoked a ball off Giolito’s foot. It deflected high into the air, allowing Velazquez to reach on an infield hit.
More to come on this story.