ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Timing is everything for a hitter, even when he doesn’t make contact.
Jeff Keppinger walked with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead run — his first base on balls in 141 plate appearances this season — and the Chicago White Sox rallied with three runs in the eighth to beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-4 on Thursday night for their season-high third straight road win.
“It was a good time to get one,” Keppinger said. “We’re sitting at the bottom of the division so any win we can get now moves us up.”
The Angels aren’t quite that low — they’ve got last-place Houston beat in the AL West — but they continued to stumble. Their bullpen wasted a two-run lead as the club lost its second straight and dropped to 8-12 at home.
“You’ve got to start a streak somewhere, and we’re going to have to do something pretty special to get back into it,” Mark Trumbo said. “If you let enough of them slide, you’re not going to be able to do that.”
Matt Lindstrom (2-2) got the victory after facing one batter in the seventh, getting Mike Trout to fly out to right to end the inning.
Addison Reed pitched the ninth to earn his 13th save in 14 chances.
“That’s how we’ve been playing and we’re going to continue to play — never giving up no matter what the score is,” Reed said. “Our offense was awesome.”
Dane De La Rosa (1-1) took the loss, giving up all three runs in the eighth.
He had pitched two perfect innings with three strikeouts against the White Sox last Friday. The walk was the third in a row issued by Michael Kohn, who threw 12 of his final 14 pitches out of the strike zone.
“It seemed like their guy just lost it there,” Keppinger said.
Kohn called it an off-night.
“My job is to come in and keep those guys on base. Unfortunately, I didn’t do that,” he said. “Obviously, you want to be down in the zone. But when I’m up like that, it’s probably spinning off my hand too much because I’m trying to do too much. The old saying is less is more.”
Chicago closed to 4-3 after Alejandro De Aza scored when De La Rosa threw a wild pitch on a strikeout by Alex Rios. Alexei Ramirez tied the game 4-all on a single by Adam Dunn.
All seven of the games between the two teams are taking place in a span of 10 days. The series is tied 2-2, with three more in Anaheim.
“I don’t know if you’re necessarily rooting for that, but it was at a good time for us,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said about the third walk. “I just like the way the offense battles.”
Howie Kendrick gave the Angels a 4-2 lead when he doubled to deep left-center in the sixth, scoring Trumbo, who walked, and Josh Hamilton, who singled to right. White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo scrambled to track the ball over his shoulder, but he misplayed it and Hamilton easily beat the throw to the plate.
Chicago tied the game at 2 in the fifth when Conor Gillaspie doubled to lead off, took third on a groundout and scored when Keppinger was safe at first on shortstop Erick Aybar’s fielding error with the infield in.
The Angels took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Albert Pujols homered on the first pitch into the right field seats, scoring Trout, who was issued a leadoff walk by Jose Quintana.
Chicago led 1-0 in the fourth on a towering homer by Rios with two outs, extending his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games. The ball just cleared both bullpens in left field and landed in the first few rows of seats.
Angels starter Jerome Williams allowed two runs and five hits in six-plus innings, struck out three and walked none.
Making his second straight start against the Angels, Quintana gave up four runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out four and walked three.
NOTES: Two key Angels relievers took significant steps in their return from injury on Thursday. RHP Kevin Jepsen (shoulder strain, out since April 12) and LHP Sean Burnett (forearm irritation, out since April 27) both threw full-intensity bullpen workouts. Jepsen expects to begin a minor league stint of one or two games this weekend, putting him in line to return late next week. Manager Mike Scioscia said Burnett will probably need one minor league game before being activated, perhaps by Tuesday. … The Angels recalled RHP Ryan Brasier from Triple-A Salt Lake and selected the contract of RHP Billy Buckner from Salt Lake, making him the 21st pitcher the team has used this season. The club optioned LHP Michael Roth to Double-A Arkansas and designated RHP Barry Enright for assignment.
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