ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols' homer in the first and C.J. Cron's homer in the seventh were enough for Andrew Heaney to outduel rookie lefty Carlos Rodon as the Angels edged the White Sox, 2-1, on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series at Angel Stadium.
"Call it two mistakes, but trying not to walk guys, throwing strikes, attack the zone, challenge them, trust the defense," said White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers of Rodon's outing. "It's a good hitter, Albert. Left that one up.
"The one to Cron, I guess he was looking for something soft and it was a little bit elevated, but still not that bad of a pitch. Really just two mistakes on the day."
Six days earlier, Rodon shut out the Angels over seven innings in Chicago, striking out 11, and the 2014 first-round pick was sharp again in this one, going eight innings for his first career complete game. But the White Sox could only muster one run against Heaney, on a double-play relay throw that second baseman Johnny Giavotella airmailed over Cron's head at first base.
Heaney, the Angels' own rookie left-hander, went six innings before Fernando Salas, Joe Smith and Huston Street finished the job. After blowing a save on Sunday night in Kansas City, Street rebounded with a scoreless ninth against Chicago for his 28th save.
"There's very few times where I'll actually admit that you have to get it done, or else," Street said. "And tonight was kind of one of those. You have to get it done, because the team had battled so hard these last two nights to put us in a position to win."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Heaney leaves 'em loaded: With the Angels and White Sox tied, 1-1, Heaney got two quick outs in the sixth but allowed two singles and hit a batter to load the bases for Flowers. After Flowers worked the count full and fouled off a changeup hard, Heaney called catcher Carlos Perez out to the mound, thinking Flowers had known what was coming. Perez told him to throw a fastball, and Heaney ran a 92-mph heater just over the low border of the strike zone for an inning-ending punchout. It was the eighth pitch of the at-bat and the lefty's 100th and final of the evening.
"I threw it at the bottom of the zone. I was maybe a little fortunate to get that call. It was borderline," Heaney said. "But it was a close pitch. A pitcher's pitch."
"That at-bat was taken away from me," Flowers said. "I had two balls called strikes on me, the last one included, in what turns out to be the biggest situation in the game." More >
Rodon rolls along: It would be hard to bypass Rodon's 11-strikeout effort against the Angels last Tuesday as the best start of his career, but Rodon's first career complete game on Monday probably topped that effort. Rodon struck out five, walked three and threw 68 of his 104 pitches for strikes. He consistently challenged the Angels' hitters.
"Last time, I felt a little more electric," Rodon said. "This time, more control of the zone. Getting it over early and letting guys swing." More >
Cron stays hot: Cron's go-ahead homer in the seventh -- an opposite-field shot off a changeup Rodon left out over the plate -- was his eighth since being recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake at the end of June. Cron had just one home run and was hitting .204 in his first 108 at-bats of 2015, leading the Angels to send him to the Minors. Since rejoining the team, Cron is batting .349 (38-for-109).
"C.J., since he came back from his little Minor League stint, he's on a mission," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's had some tough games mixed in, but for the most part you can see what he can do. That's a tough pitch to drive the other way, and he killed it to right field. That's a big hit, and hopefully he'll keep going." More >
Another Beckham one-hander: With Perez on first via a leadoff single in the third, Angels third baseman Ryan Jackson laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to get him into scoring position. Rodon's throw sailed wide of first, toward the second-base side, but Gordon Beckham was able to make a barehanded grab and still have the presence of mind to touch the base and get the out.
"It was awesome," said Rodon of Beckham's effort. "Poor throw by me. Nice to have a guy like that pick you up. A great defensive player, a great player all around."
"Last one, it's always going to be a coin toss. I didn't necessarily think we were getting those earlier and it seemed to change right there." -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura, on the called third strike to Flowers with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox:John Danks (6-9, 4,.58 ERA) makes his 23rd start of the season and 11th on the road at 9:05 CT on Tuesday night in Anaheim. Danks is 2-6 with a 6.09 ERA away from U.S. Cellular Field. He allowed one run on five hits over 7 1/3 innings on Aug. 12 against the Angels in Chicago.
Angels:Garrett Richards (11-9, 3.55) takes the mound for the Angels as this series continues at 7:05 p.m. PT. He's coming off back-to-back six-inning, three-run outings against the Orioles and Royals, but the right-hander didn't have his best stuff in either.