ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Peter Bourjos drove a single through a drawn-in infield with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.
Howie Kendrick homered and tripled as the suddenly surging Angels matched their longest win streak of the season with another late rally, trimming their AL West deficit to 3 games behind Texas.
The White Sox, who helped the Angels’ cause last weekend by taking two of three from Texas, lost for just the sixth time in 17 games. The Sox erased Los Angeles’ eighth-inning lead when Paul Konerko drove in the tying run with a single that was his 2,000th hit.
“I’m glad it was a meaningful hit in the game,” Konerko said. “It was a hitter’s hit — a line drive to right, just like my first hit.”
Mark Buehrle yielded seven hits and four runs over six innings for the White Sox. Buehrle hasn’t won at Angel Stadium since August 2001, but Konerko’s eighth-inning hit took him off the hook for his first consecutive losses since April.
“This is probably one of the worst nights I’ve had,” Buehrle said. “I didn’t make too many good pitches. I don’t think I was throwing anything close to really make them work or think about swinging. I was falling behind in the count with stuff that wasn’t even close, throwing balls in the dirt. It’s frustrating because, obviously, we need to win.”
Los Angeles scored single runs in each of the first four innings, including Kendrick’s career-high 11th homer in the second and Torii Hunter’s RBI single in the third.
Kendrick put a triple in the gap and scored on Aybar’s fly to shallow center in the fourth, sliding around Tyler Flowers’ tag and nearly taking out home plate umpire Tony Randazzo. Kendrick was thrown out at the plate in the sixth inning, however.
Santana nursed a 4-3 lead into the eighth, getting two quick outs before Alejandro De Aza singled and stole second. Konerko singled on Santana’s first two-strike pitch after a mound conference, and Santana headed back to the dugout moments later with his head hung low.
“Even the last one to Konerko was a good pitch,” Santana said.
Konerko is the 13th player to get his 2,000th hit with the White Sox. Chicago’s All-Star slugger joined a group including Jim Thome, Frank Thomas, Tim Raines and Carlton Fisk.
“The first thing I think of is, `How the hell did Pete Rose get 4,000 hits?”‘ Konerko said. “Or (Derek) Jeter getting 3,000 hits, or any of those guys. I mean, you do this from the time you’re a kid until you’re at the stage where you’ve got a wife and kids, and for someone else to have another 1,000 hits or another 2,000 hits, it just seems like, wow, those guys are good.”
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© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.