Rookie Tyler Chatwood pitches Angels to 7-2 win over White Sox
Rookie Tyler Chatwood held the Chicago White Sox to a run on five hits through seven innings Saturday, and Howie Kendrick and Hank Conger each homered, driving in three runs apiece, to lead the Angels to a 7-2 victory at a wet and chilly U.S. Cellular Field.
Chatwood, called up from the minors to replace the injured Joel Pineiro in the rotation, waited out a 2-hour 10-minute rain delay before taking the mound in a windchill that dipped below freezing. But neither the elements nor the White Sox seemed to bother the hard-throwing right-hander, who faced just one batter over the minimum through four innings.
The White Sox broke that spell on Carlos Quentin's first-pitch home run in the fifth, but that proved to be just a bump in the road for Chatwood. Mixing a four-seam fastball that touched 96 mph and a slow curve in the high 70s -- and aided by three double plays -- Chatwood was in command all evening.
The Angels jumped in front in the second inning when Vernon Wells doubled -- his first extra-base hit since opening day -- went to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch that bounced just a few feet in front of the plate.
But Wells probably figured it was worth the gamble since the Angels had just five hits in their last 39 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
An inning later the Angels gave Chatwood a little more breathing room when Brandon Wood bounced a lead-off double off the wall in left and scored an out later on Kendrick's fifth home run of the season. Kendrick added a run-scoring double later in the game, making him one of four Angels to finish with at least two hits. For the second day in a row Maicer Izturis had three hits while Conger and Wells had two each.
After Quentin's 414-foot blast deep into the left-field bleachers got Chicago on the scoreboard, the Angels came right back in their next at-bat with Conger following two-out walks to Alberto Callaspo and Mark Trumbo with a three-run home run. The Angels' final run came in the seventh when Kendrick drove home Izturis, while the White Sox's last score came on Paul Konerko's two-out solo homer in the ninth off Rich Thompson.
For the Angels the win was their fourth in a row and eighth in 10 games following a 1-3 start.
-- Kevin Baxter, reporting from Chicago
Photo: Angels starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood delivers a pitch against the White Sox in the first inning Saturday in Chicago. Credit: Jerry Lai / US Presswire