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Abreu heats up, Giolito stays sharp to top Halos

MLB.com @scottmerkin

ANAHEIM -- Jose Abreu hit, Lucas Giolito pitched and Kevan Smith drove in two runs without getting a hit.

Those intangibles, along with six relievers covering the final three innings, added up to a 5-3 victory for the White Sox over the Angels Monday night at Angel Stadium. It evened the White Sox record at 2-2 on this seven-game road trip to start the season's second half, but it also marked the team's second win over its last 16 games played in Anaheim. Their only other win came on Aug. 20, 2015.

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ANAHEIM -- Jose Abreu hit, Lucas Giolito pitched and Kevan Smith drove in two runs without getting a hit.

Those intangibles, along with six relievers covering the final three innings, added up to a 5-3 victory for the White Sox over the Angels Monday night at Angel Stadium. It evened the White Sox record at 2-2 on this seven-game road trip to start the season's second half, but it also marked the team's second win over its last 16 games played in Anaheim. Their only other win came on Aug. 20, 2015.

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Giolito made his third straight quality start, battling through six innings on an exceptionally hot night in Orange County about an hour away from where Giolito grew up in Santa Monica. Somewhere around 15 friends and family members were in attendance.

"It was special because this is my first time pitching in California as a professional," Giolito said. "So, coming back home and pitching in front of a lot of family and friends, like I said before, I definitely wanted it to be a good one and luckily we pulled it out.

"But once the game starts, it's the same thing, so I go out and I compete to the best of my ability no matter where I'm at or who is watching. Emotions are the same."

Video: CWS@LAA: Giolito retires Pujols to leave 'em loaded

The right-hander allowed three runs on five hits, striking out five and walking four. One of those hits was a Shohei Ohtani home run with one out in the fourth, traveling 435 feet, per Statcast™, and landing in the center-field greenery behind the shrubs.

"Well, he's got some power," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said of Ohtani. "The first ball he hit, his first at-bat, he flew out deep, right? We looked at each other and went, 'OK, this kid has power.' Then he put one in the turf in center field and we said, 'Confirmed.' Good looking young player."

Over those last three starts, Giolito has given up five earned runs in 19 2/3 innings while walking 10 and striking out 14. Abreu, mired in a prolonged slump since May 27, launched a solo home run in the first off Angels starter Jaime Barria. He also walked in the fourth and singled home a run during a three-run sixth, erasing a 3-2 deficit, after Renteria mentioned in pregame that the All-Star first baseman was moving closer to returning to his old form.

Video: CWS@LAA: Abreu grounds an RBI single into left

Abreu spoke of poring over a great deal of video Sunday night upon arriving in California to figure out a way to get out of this funk.

"I came today and I did my same routine and I was feeling good," said Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo. "I was able to put the barrel on the ball and I got good results."

In that sixth, the White Sox scored on Leury Garcia's sacrifice fly and Smith's hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded. Smith also drove in a run with a groundout in the fifth. Closer Joakim Soria struck out Justin Upton as the winning run at the plate with runners on first and second to secure the victory.

Video: CWS@LAA: Soria strikes out Upton to secure the win

"Everybody did a really nice job," Renteria said. "It was actually a really good team win."

"They used a lot of pitchers tonight, but they all came in a did a good job for those guys," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "On the offensive end, we had chances. Obviously, we didn't get that hit."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Fry 1, Ohtani 0: Albert Pujols opened the eighth with a single to left, bringing left-handed reliever Jace Fry into the game to face Ohtani as the potential tying run. The count ran to 3-2 before Ohtani swung wildly and missed at a cutter moving out of the zone. The Angels would not score in that inning.

SOUND SMART
Abreu hit his first road home run since June 5 in the second game of a doubleheader at Minnesota. He now has 322 career extra-base hits, putting him in a tie for 19th with Jermaine Dye in White Sox history. A.J. Pierzynski ranks 18th at 323.

HE SAID IT
"It was definitely fun facing Pujols. He's going to be a Hall of Famer. That was a cool moment for me as a young guy in this league. Definitely a lot of fun tonight." -- Giolito

UP NEXT
Carlos Rodon (2-3, 3.56) makes his eighth start of the season in Tuesday night's contest against the Angels with first pitch schedled for 9:07 p.m. CT. Right-hander Felix Pena (1-0, 3.42 ERA) gets the call for the Angels. Rodon is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 13 strikeouts over his last two starts. He allowed three hits over 7 1/3 innings in his last start against St. Louis on July 11.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Jose Abreu, Lucas Giolito