Free passes, miscues catch up with Halos

Free passes, miscues catch up with Halos

Free passes, miscues catch up with Halos
ANAHEIM -- C.J. Wilson couldn't find the strike zone, his defense couldn't find fly balls and the offense couldn't find any remnants of the firepower it displayed the night before, leading the Angels to a 6-1 loss to the White Sox on Thursday afternoon.

With that, the Angels missed a chance to win three games in a row for only the third time this season and halted any momentum they may have built through back-to-back wins.

For that, they had nobody but themselves to blame.

"We just didn't give ourselves a chance this afternoon," manager Mike Scioscia said. "You can't walk that many guys -- and obviously C.J. was off -- and give a team five outs in an inning and expect to come away with a win."

Wilson walked a career-high six batters and hit another in a 3 2/3-inning outing -- struggles he attributed mostly to a stomach virus that plagued him as his 88-pitch start progressed -- and the Angels misplayed at least four fly balls, including two in a three-run fourth inning that catapulted the White Sox to victory.

"It was like one of those full-moon games today," Wilson said. "Except, with no moon out."

No moon. Just a sun. A big, bright sun that proved to be the Angels' greatest adversary.

Mike Trout saw a fly ball go off his glove in right field to put a runner in scoring position. Second baseman Howie Kendrick couldn't find a potential inning-ending popup that instead plated a run. Kendrick got a bad jump on another ball that resulted in a bloop single. Shortstop Maicer Izturis had a fly ball go off his glove in shallow center field. And Wilson didn't help the cause by throwing 49 percent of his pitches for balls.

Team doctors believe Wilson was dealing with a stomach virus throughout his Thursday start, with Wilson saying he "almost passed out after the first inning."

"I couldn't really get anything going," Wilson said after he was charged with four runs (one earned) to move to 4-4 with a 3.35 ERA. "I just didn't set a good tone, and it's pretty much my fault. I put the defense to sleep out there. And maybe the bats, too, I guess. I couldn't find the strike zone. I tried to make adjustments and it didn't work. I just sucked today."

There were some positives for the Angels, though. Like Albert Pujols hit his third home run of the year, and the second in as many days, on a high Chris Sale fastball that Pujols lifted out to straightaway center field in the sixth. Mark Trumbo went 4-for-4 to put his batting average at .460 over the last 14 games. Vernon Wells robbed Gordon Beckham of a home run, climbing the left-field wall to bring one back in the eighth.

But the Angels' miscues -- on the mound, in the field and at the plate, where they mustered six hits and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position -- overshadowed all of that.

"When you make some of those mistakes, it opens the door for other things to happen," Kendrick said. "And that's usually what we thrive on as a team."

The White Sox scored on an RBI single by A.J. Pierzynski in the third, after Albert Pujols cut off a throw that had a chance to nail Paul Konerko at home, and rode two miscues to a three-run fourth.

Fighting the afternoon sun after a 12:35 p.m. PT start time, Trout was charged with an error on a Dayan Viciedo fly ball that ultimately put the White Sox outfielder on second base. Four batters later, Adam Dunn -- who came in with a .105 batting average against lefties -- hit a two-out, two-run single. The next batter, Konerko, hit an infield popup that Kendrick never saw, resulting in an RBI single and a four-run lead for the White Sox.

"I had my sunglasses on my hat," Kendrick said. "I made a mistake there. I have to have my glasses on and make that play regardless. There were some tough fly balls, but at the same time, those are plays that have to be made."

The Angels (17-22) are now 1-18 when scoring three runs or fewer and winless in the 17 games in which they've trailed after seven.

"We are moving forward, but this was just disappointing this afternoon," said Scioscia, whose club begins a 10-game road trip against the Padres, Athletics and Mariners Friday. "We just didn't play anywhere near how we have to play."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.