White Sox Beat Angels, Avoid Sweep

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Robin Ventura has an informed opinion about which White Sox players deserve to participate in the July 15 All-Star Game.

Chris Sale, Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez would be his choices.

“But every year we go through the guys who deserve to make it and don’t make it,” Ventura said. “That’s going to happen to somebody. And if it’s not on my team it’s going to be on somebody else’s team. There will be a good debate of who was snubbed. It happens every year.”

But there was no debating Ventura’s immediate concern Wednesday night was his key players’ effort against the Angels at rainy U.S. Cellular Field.

Leury Garcia singled home Alejandro De Aza from third in the ninth inning with the winning run as the Sox won 3-2, snapping a seven-game losing streak against the Angels.

Sox starter John Danks did his part to tame the Angels. Danks went 72/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. He matched his career high with 10 strikeouts and became the first pitcher to record 10 or more strikeouts against the Angels since Sale on May 17, 2013.

Danks has looked more like his old self this season, nearly two years after shoulder surgery in August 2012.

“I think he’s stronger,” Ventura said. “There’s a certain element to that being away from surgery and being able to locate (pitches), adding his curveball in there. For him, he’s changed some mechanical things, angle-wise. … It has really helped him locate better.”

Angels starter Tyler Skaggs matched Danks’ performance by going 72/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He struck out six.

Abreu, named American League Rookie of the Month before the game, drew a walk from Angels starter Tyler Skaggs in the fourth inning to load the bases with no outs. One out later, Ramirez singled to center to score a pair and the Sox led 2-0.

“I would say (Ramirez) deserves to be an All-Star,” teammate Gordon Beckham said. “He’s got great numbers. He goes out there and plays every game. … He is playing really well and I think he will be on the All-Star team.”

The Angels cut the score to 2-1 in the seventh inning when David Freese homered to right. Josh Hamilton tied it with a two-out homer in the eighth. After 120 pitches, Danks then was relieved by Zach Putnam.

Abreu extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a bloop single to center in the eighth that left runners on the corners. But Dayan Viciedo flied out to center to end the threat.

The Sox had dropped nine of their previous 13. They had finished their recent road trip winning three of four from the Blue Jays.

“In Toronto we played some good baseball, got some key hits,” Ventura said of his team’s erratic play. “We come back and you run into a team like Anaheim and you get whacked for one day. It’s two games (Tuesday), but it’s one day you end up getting beat up pretty good. You just have to be able to withstand it. You see the positives that are there, you see the way we play for a run of a certain extent. Then you can’t sustain it. That’s the frustrating part.”

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