Floyd's run derailed by Pujols, Angels

Floyd's run derailed by Pujols, Angels

Floyd's run derailed by Pujols, Angels
ANAHEIM -- There wasn't a doubt in Robin Ventura's mind that Albert Pujols would break out of his funk soon.

The White Sox manager just didn't want the revival to begin Wednesday night, when his White Sox came to town.

For all that talk about Pujols' struggles, the Angels' slugger put his slump on hold against Sox starter Gavin Floyd during a 7-2 White Sox loss.

"It's not surprising," Ventura, the first-year Chicago manager, said of Pujols' third-inning, three-run homer. "But I wish he would have waited a few days."

Floyd served up an 0-1 fastball that Pujols crushed to left-center field, giving the Angels a two-run lead. The White Sox never threatened after that, as they dropped their second straight.

Floyd struggled in his six innings, allowing seven runs on 10 hits. He surrendered two home runs, the second to Vernon Wells, which put the Angels up, 7-2.

"They capitalized on those mistakes," Floyd said. "Sometimes you get away with them. Tonight, you make pitches, and they get base hits. You miss pitches, and those two home runs put them on top."

It was an unexpected bump in the road for Floyd, who dazzled in his four previous starts and entered the game riding a scoreless streak of 12 2/3 innings. The Angels' offense has sputtered this season, but on Wednesday, it didn't seem like it.

"Today, when he missed, he missed with a lineup that can swing the bat, and he missed in the middle," Ventura said.

Floyd never found a groove.

"I struggled with command with everything," Floyd said. "I just tried to attack them with strikes and didn't make quality pitches. When I did, they got a hit. It was kind of one of those days."

Wednesday's loss came on the heels of arguably the White Sox's worst loss this season. They blew a six-run lead against American League Central-rival Detroit on Tuesday and then made a cross-country flight to Southern California.

Ventura told reporters after the game not to connect the dots, though.

"These guys, they can put that behind them," Ventura said. "It's just a new day, and you come out here and they actually swung the bats, tip your cap to them."

Angels starter Jerome Williams ran into some trouble in the third, but was otherwise sharp in tossing eight innings of two-run ball. He allowed 10 hits, but the Sox left seven men on base.

"He could really spot the ball away," Chicago second baseman Gordon Beckham said. "He's got a two-seamer and a cutter, and that's a pretty good combination, usually. He just did a good job of keeping us off balance and keeping that ball out of the middle of the plate."

Brent Morel continued to slump with an 0-for-4, two-strikeout night that dropped his average to .171.

Morel has been battling a bulging disc in his back that has bothered him since Spring Training. He took three days off last week to recover, and said earlier this week that it feels "100 percent different right now."

As for the slump, Ventura said it's likely as much mental as anything else.

"You want him to go up there and be aggressive," Ventura said. "You still want him to have that aggressiveness when he goes up there and not be in that situation where he's worried about making an out."

The Angels got on the board first when Erick Aybar doubled home Wells in the bottom of the second inning, but the White Sox responded half a frame later.

Left fielder Dayan Viciedo continued his recent tear with a home run to lead off the third. After his 3-for-4 night Viciedo is now 8-for-14 with two homers and six RBIs in his last three games.

Beckham hit an RBI double three batters later that was just out of the reach of Wells in left field. It gave the White Sox the only lead they'd take all evening.

"Of course, we show up and he's starting to roll," Beckham said. "Yeah, that looked like him. I've seen a lot of his home runs. ... Good for him, but I wish he would wait a couple of days to let us get out of here."

AJ Cassavell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.