ANAHEIM -- The Angels' futility against White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon was so complete Tuesday night that even when they finally managed to record a hit, they still made an out.Andrelton Simmons bounced a single up the middle to break up Rodon's no-hit bid with two outs in the sixth
ANAHEIM -- The Angels' futility against White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon was so complete Tuesday night that even when they finally managed to record a hit, they still made an out.
Andrelton Simmons bounced a single up the middle to break up Rodon's no-hit bid with two outs in the sixth inning of the Angels' 4-2 loss at Angel Stadium, but he rounded the base too aggressively and was thrown out at first base to end the inning.
Simmons thought he could get into scoring position after center fielder Adam Engel threw to third base to try to nab David Fletcher. By the time he realized he wouldn't make it to second base, he was too far away from first to retreat safely.
It was a costly blunder for the Angels, who would have had runners on the corners with two outs and Michael Trout at the plate, had they not made the out on the bases.
"You try to push the envelope," Simmons said. "When it rains, it pours."
The Angels mustered little else against Rodon, who was charged with two runs on two hits and three walks over 7 2/3 innings, once again exposing the club's vulnerability against left-handed pitchers this season. The Angels entered Tuesday batting an MLB-worst .219 against southpaws and dropped to 9-20 against left-handed starters this season.
"I think you see that crop up from time to time when you're not really swinging the bats the way [you] can," manager Mike Scioscia said of Simmons' miscue. "You try to force things and unfortunately, sometimes you get into some situations where there's some bad outs. That's baseball. No one feels worse than Simba about that play."
The Angels trailed, 4-0, entering the bottom of the eighth, but they showed some life after rallying to cut the deficit in half. Ian Kinsler led off the inning with a ground-rule double to left-center field, and Kole Calhoun drew a two-out walk to finally force Rodon from the game. White Sox manager Rick Renteria summoned Juan Minaya to face Fletcher, who delivered an RBI double to left to put the Angels on the board.
The Angels continued to threaten after Minaya struck Simmons on the left hand to load the bases. Trainer Eric Munson and Scioscia came out to check on Simmons, who appeared to be in pain, but the Angels shortstop remained in the game and said it's "nothing really concerning." Trout kept the rally going by drawing a walk to force in another run, but Jeanmar Gomez coaxed an inning-ending popout from Justin Upton to thwart the Angels' comeback.
After dropping the first two games of this four-game series to the White Sox, who have the third-worst record in the Majors, the Angels (50-52) slipped two games below .500 for the first time this season.
"It hasn't gone our way yet," Simmons said. "The only thing we can do is put it behind us and go at it tomorrow."
The Angels squandered a strong outing from right-hander Felix Pena, who gave up two runs over a career-high six innings in his sixth start of the season. Pena, a converted reliever, limited the White Sox to four hits while walking three, striking out two and throwing 84 pitches. Pena was pressed into the Angels' rotation following a cascade of injuries to the club's starters, but he's made the most of his opportunity, posting a 2.73 ERA over 29 2/3 innings in six starts.
"I feel like I've done a good job," Pena said in Spanish. "I feel better after each start. I'm gaining confidence. I'm going to keep doing my best until the end."
Chicago inflicted all of its damage against Pena in the third inning. After the White Sox loaded the bases with one out on a pair of singles from Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada and a walk from Yolmer Sanchez, Pena issued another walk to Jose Abreu to force in a run. Avisail Garcia then lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to make it 2-0.
"I thought Felix Pena did a great job," Scioscia said. "He only missed with a couple spots. Outside of the walks in the third inning, he had the ball on the fringes. It was down, had good movement. He used his breaking ball [and] changeup well and got through six innings."
The White Sox added a pair of insurance runs off reliever Noe Ramirez after Moncada launched a solo shot in the seventh and Nicky Delmonico produced an RBI single in the eighth.
Left-hander Tyler Skaggs (7-6, 2.68 ERA) will take the mound for the Angels on Wednesday night as they play the third of their four games against the White Sox at 7:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Chicago will counter with veteran right-hander James Shields (4-11, 4.26 ERA). In his last seven starts, Skaggs has logged a 1.43 ERA, which ranks second in the American League over that span. He has not faced the White Sox since July 2, 2014, when he gave up two runs over 7 2/3 innings in Chicago.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.