ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Los Angeles Angels might want to keep Cameron Maybin right at the top of their lineup.
Maybin had three more hits, Mike Trout homered for the fifth time in six games, and the Angels completed a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 12-8 victory Wednesday night.
Maybin, batting leadoff for the second time in an Angels uniform, went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and drew a walk a day after a career-best five hits on Tuesday. He’s 8 for 10 in his last two games, breaking out of a slump while finding a comfort zone hitting in front of Trout.
“My answer is going to be that it doesn’t matter,” Maybin said of where he hits in the Angels’ order. “I enjoy leading the way, leading the guys, getting things started. It allows me to use my approach and be a little more patient. Again, it’s my job, especially when they put me up there, to get things started and I’ve been able to do that.”
Maybin had one of the best offensive years of his career with the Detroit Tigers last season, but had struggled at the plate with his new team. He broke out in a big way against the White Sox.
“That’s just an excuse for people to talk about something,” Maybin said. “When you play well, nobody has anything to say. That’s your guys’ job, to make excuses for us. We’ve got to come out and perform no matter where you are.”
Trout’s 13th homer of the season, a three-run shot, keyed a four-run sixth inning for the Angels.
Matt Shoemaker (3-2) gave up two runs in each of the first two innings, but settled down to earn the win. He finished with four runs allowed — three earned — and nine hits with nine strikeouts and one walk in 6 1/3 innings.
Miguel Gonzalez (3-4) allowed five runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked five and struck out two as the White Sox opened their 10-game West Coast road trip on a sour note.
The final game of the series featured 20 combined runs, 28 hits and three errors.
Jose Abreu hit a two-out, two-run homer in the first inning give the White Sox an early 2-0 lead. Chicago made it 4-0 in the second on Yolmer Sanchez’s RBI single and Melky Cabrera’s run-scoring fielder’s choice.
The Angels answered with a four-run second to tie it as Gonzalez walked four in the inning. Ben Revere tripled to drive in a run and scored on Martin Maldonado’s groundout. Trout drew a walk to load the bases, and Albert Pujols singled to right to drive in two and tie the game at 4.
Los Angeles then scored four times in the sixth, capped by Trout’s homer, and four more in the seventh to take a 12-4 lead.
The White Sox fell to 17-21 after allowing 24 runs over the last three games. They’ve lost 14 of their last 15 games at Angel Stadium.
“I do think we’re better than that,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “We’re continuing to compete. At this point, I still think it’s a long season. We still have 120-something games left. You have peaks and valleys in every season. I think it’s how you respond and continue to chip away and move forward in the course of a season.”
Pujols was taken out of the game in the seventh inning as a precautionary measure, according to Angels manager Mike Scioscia, after he experienced some tightness in his hamstring. It was a combination of trying to turn a single into a double – he was thrown out – in the sixth inning and the cooler weather.
It’s unclear how many games Pujols will play as the Angels take a 10-game road trip that includes two National League parks to play the New York Mets and Miami Marlins. Pujols has mostly been in the Angels lineup as the designated hitter, but would have to play first base in those parks. Scioscia didn’t speculate on how many games he might play.
White Sox pitcher Tommy Kahnle was the subject of a surprising rant by Minnesota Twins broadcaster LaTroy Hawkins during Tuesday’s broadcast of the Rockies-Twins game.
Hawkins and Kahnle played together with the Colorado Rockies in 2014. Hawkins said they had a physical fight in 2014 and called Kahnle “one of the worst teammates I’ve ever had in my life.”
Said Kahnle: “It’s weird, but stuff happened in the past. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. That’s really all I’ve got. I don’t take it to heart.”
He found out via messages from friends because Kahnle said he doesn’t have social media.
“I’ve got nothing on it. I’ve put it way in the past. I’m way over it,” Kahnle said.
White Sox: INF Yoan Moncada, one of baseball’s top prospects, is expected to go on the 7-day disabled list Thursday with a sore left thumb. An X-ray and MRI were negative.
Angels: RHP Huston Street (right lat strain) is facing live hitters in Arizona. He could be ready to return in early June. … RHP Andrew Bailey (right shoulder inflammation) was seen by a doctor, who confirmed there’s no new damage. Bailey will be on a maintenance program for two weeks and then he’ll be reassessed. … RHP Mike Morin (neck tightness) is expected to face live hitters in Arizona tomorrow.
White Sox: RHP Dylan Covey (0-3, 3.83 ERA) has yet to win his first game of the season. This will be his seventh start and fifth on the road, opening the series in Seattle on Thursday. Covey made his major league debut last month. In his last start, he struck out a career-best nine batters and walked two in a no-decision against the Padres.
Angels: RHP Ricky Nolasco (2-2, 4.34 ERA) has given up two home runs in five of his last six starts and has allowed 13 home runs in eight starts this season. He’ll face the Mets, who had lost seven straight games, on Friday.
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