Double play thwarts Angels' rally attempt

Petricka induces 1-2-3 twin killing from Pujols in eighth inning

Double play thwarts Angels' rally attempt

CHICAGO -- White Sox reliever Jake Petricka found himself in a "bit of panic" Tuesday night in the eighth inning of a 3-0 victory over the Angels. With one out and the bases loaded, Petricka was called in to face Albert Pujols and hold a three-run lead.

The panic came as Pujols hit a soft chopper toward the mound, instead of somewhere in the outfield. Petricka wasn't fazed though, as he charged the ball to get the out at home and Tyler Flowers' throw to first was just in time to complete the inning-ending double play.

"It's not a spot you ever want to be in, but I used my advantage with the sinkerball and it worked," Petricka said. "It's almost a little bit of panic at first because he didn't hit it very hard at all, and it was a matter of 'I've got to get there quick.' Just move as fast as possible and get it to [catcher Tyler Flowers]."

Pujols took two called strikes to begin the at-bat, and then fouled the next two off before the ball went straight at the mound.

It was the Angels' best scoring chance in a game in which they finished 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and left seven men on base. But it was especially tough on Pujols, who is now hitting .215 with men on second and third.

"No excuse, but obviously I didn't really do my job," Pujols said. "He didn't really give me anything. He got me 0-2 right away, and from there I was almost on the defensive.

"It's a part of the game. It's stuff that happens. You think I want to get myself out? I want to come through every time, but it doesn't happen."

Pujols is second on the team in RBIs this season and is batting .254, but he has just two RBIs over his last 10 games.

"Still, there aren't many guys we want to have on that situation on our team outside of Albert," added Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "I think he's gotten some big hits for us, but it just didn't happen tonight."

The Angels put three runners on base against White Sox reliever Zach Duke to begin the inning. They strung together a hit from Shane Victorino and a walk to Kole Calhoun, and Mike Trout reached on an error by Alexei Ramirez with one out.

In a game in which they collected just five hits and struck out 13 times, Pujols' at-bat was the best chance since the first inning, when the Angels stranded runners on first and second. Trout and Pujols both struck out before Erick Aybar flied out.

"There were some big outs during the game that maybe didn't show up as much as heightened as it was in the eighth inning," Scioscia said. "It came to a hit in the eighth inning, and obviously we couldn't get anything across."

Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.