GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Angels prospect Rafael Ortega hit a two-run single in the seventh inning of Thursday's 6-5 win over the White Sox -- one inning after the teams broke through against strong starting pitching.
The Angels managed four hits through the first five innings against White Sox ace Chris Sale, but then proceeded to match that total with just five batters during a four-run sixth. But the White Sox didn't waste too much time in getting back even against Matt Shoemaker, with Brett Lawrie launching a two-run homer in the bottom of the frame.
Yunel Escobar opened the Angels' sixth with a double to left and moved to third on Kole Calhoun's single to right. Mike Trout followed with a blast to left on a 0-1 pitch, erasing a 2-0 deficit on his second home run of the spring. Albert Pujols struck out, but C.J. Cron followed with a long drive of his own to left-center for his first home run.
"It was good. Felt good out there," Sale said. "That was the main goal going into this game, was to try and treat it like a normal game. Get yourself a normal pitch count and go out and see what you can do."
Sale struck out five and walked one over six innings and 88 pitches, going to a three-ball count just three times during his outing. Shoemaker matched him pretty much pitch for pitch on the Angels side ... until the sixth.
Shoemaker gave up a single run in the first on Jimmy Rollins' fourth homer. He allowed another in the fifth when Austin Jackson doubled home J.B. Shuck, and then the Lawrie two-run shot in the sixth, but the righty had a much stronger outing overall in comparison to the 13 runs he had previously allowed in 14 innings this spring. Shoemaker struck out four and walked one.
"Shoe pitched great," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "This is not an easy park to pitch in. ... I think he did a good job of controlling the zone, had good out pitches and finished strong with six [innings] and 90 pitches. He probably had some more left in his tank, too."
Up next for the Angels:Jered Weaver makes his return to the mound when the Angels face the A's at Hohokam Park at 1:05 p.m. PT on Friday. Weaver, who will oppose lefty Rich Hill, is slated to work five innings and throw 75 pitches. The Angels' longtime ace hasn't pitched in a Cactus League game since allowing five runs, recording eight outs and topping out at 81 mph against the Dodgers on March 9. Weaver then had an MRI exam on his neck, which didn't reveal anything major, and then pitched in a Minor League game.
Up next for the White Sox: After playing three straight Cactus League games at Camelback Ranch, the White Sox travel to Peoria, Ariz., on Friday to take on the Mariners with a 3:05 p.m. CT first pitch. Jose Quintana, who last pitched in a Minor League game on Sunday, returns to the big field for what looks to be his last start in Arizona.