WHITE SOX (54-66) AT ANGELS (60-63)
10:07 p.m. ET; FS-W, NBCSCH, MLB.TV
The legend of Mike Trout continues to grow.
The Los Angeles star looks to follow up a terrific performance when the Angels host the Chicago White Sox (+1.5) on Friday in the second contest of a four-game series.
Trout went 4-for-4 with four runs scored and his 40th homer of the season as Los Angeles posted an 8-7 win in Thursday’s series opener.
“Just going up there and having a good approach and not missing pitches,” Trout told Fox Sports West in a postgame interview. “That’s what it comes down to.”
Trout moved into a tie for the major league lead in homers with Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers (+1.5), who went yard earlier Thursday. He also reached 40 for the second time in his career and stands one away from matching his high, set in 2015.
Trout also continues to torment the White Sox. He is 16-for-22 with five homers, 10 RBIs and 12 runs scored in his last six games against Chicago.
The onslaught includes two two-homer games last season, including one in September that was part of a 5-for-5 performance.
Thursday’s four-hit game was the 18th of Trout’s career.
The win was the second straight for the Angels after they lost 14 of their previous 18 games.
Justin Upton had four RBIs, including a three-run blast on a low liner that barely cleared the fence in left center.
“I was telling it to get up,” Upton told Fox Sports West. “I hit it kind of low but I knew I hit it hard enough. It was just whether it was going to carry. It was a good one to get.”
Abreu, who has 14 career multi-homer games, has 26 blasts and 89 RBIs this season. He is aiming for his fourth career 30-homer season and fifth 100-RBI campaign.
White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito (12-6, 3.42 ERA) takes the ball on Friday, and it will be an emotional time for him due to his close friendship with Tyler Skaggs, the Angels pitcher who died at age 27 on July 1.
“A lot of things have been said about him over the past couple of months here, but the biggest thing for me, the impact he left on me, was his attitude toward baseball, his attitude toward life,” Giolito told reporters before Thursday’s game. “I carry a lot of that with me. It helped me, just the carefree, charismatic part. That’s who I am in our clubhouse. It’s definitely something I took from him when I was much younger.”
Giolito has struggled recently, going just 1-4 over his past seven turns, but was sharp in his last outing on Sunday with a career-best 13 strikeouts against the Oakland Athletics (-1.5).
However, Giolito suffered the loss despite giving up just two runs and five hits over six innings. The difference was a two-run homer he served up to Matt Olson in the fourth inning.
Giolito, a first-time All-Star, has 171 strikeouts in 136 2/3 innings. He has fanned 46 in 30 2/3 innings over his last five outings.
The 25-year-old native of Santa Monica, Calif., defeated the Angels in his lone career outing against them when he gave up three runs and five hits over six innings on July 23, 2018.
Rookie left-hander Patrick Sandoval (0-0, 5.59) will be making his second start and third big-league appearance for the Angels.
Sandoval struck out eight in five innings of relief against the Cincinnati Reds (-1.5) in his major league debut on August 5. He entered the game in the second inning and gave up two runs and three hits.
The 22-year-old started against the Boston Red Sox (-2) last Sunday and gave up four runs and six hits over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked four.
–Field Level Media