TEMPE, Ariz. -- Mike Trout homered and Jose Abreu notched three hits Monday, when the White Sox defeated the split-squad Angels, 9-4, at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Trout's home run came in the third inning, turning a first-pitch fastball into a line drive that sailed well over the fence in left-center
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Mike Trout homered and Jose Abreu notched three hits Monday, when the White Sox defeated the split-squad Angels, 9-4, at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Trout's home run came in the third inning, turning a first-pitch fastball into a line drive that sailed well over the fence in left-center field for his first home run of the spring. The Angels' superstar center fielder also stole a base and walked twice, putting his Cactus League on-base percentage at .636.
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Abreu singled to the right side, against the shift, then laced a double near the right-field line and lined a base hit up the middle, putting his Cactus League batting average at .500. Abreu's White Sox tied the game at 2 in the second on a long two-run homer by catcher Dioner Navarro.
Navarro's homer was the only damage done against Angels starter Hector Santiago, who scattered four hits, walked one and struck out five in three innings. Santiago threw all six of his pitches, including the screwball -- a pitch he threw only once during the regular season last year, on April 15.
"It's definitely an effective pitch," Santiago said. "It's top to bottom, running away from a righty and down and in to a lefty. It's there. It's a pitch, there's no doubt about it. It's just a matter of how I want to use it and how aggressive they are in calling it."
Erik Johnson, fighting for the fifth spot in the White Sox rotation, was charged with four runs on three hits and two walks in three innings. Two of those runs came on a misplay by left fielder Jerry Sands, who charged in on a shallow fly ball by Kole Calhoun and watched it bounce off his glove for a two-out, two-run double.
"He's in the position to make a run at that," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Johnson's chances of securing a rotation spot. "It's nice that he got to face a lineup like this. But it's a little early to be worrying about all that."
The Angels took a 4-2 lead on Trout's homer, but Chicago got a two-out RBI single by Daniel Fields in the sixth and a two-run homer by Steve Lombardozzi in the seventh. Adam Engel added a sacrifice fly and Hector Sanchez tacked on an RBI single later in that seventh, a tough one for Angels prospect Kyle McGowin, who allowed a fifth run in the eighth on Lombardozzi's sacrifice fly.
"It went very well for us," Ventura said. "We swung the bats. I thought Erik threw the ball very well. You know, he got himself into a little bit of a bind. They have a very good lineup; when you get Trout and Pujols in there, it could be a tough one. All the way around, there were very good signs."
Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, recovering from offseason surgery to his right foot, ran full speed to score on a wild pitch.
White Sox Up Next: The White Sox are back at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday to play the Brewers in a 2:05 p.m. CT start. Left-hander John Danks is slated to open against right-hander Chase Anderson. White Sox manager Robin Ventura said first baseman Adam LaRoche (back spasms) is a possible return, but most probably Wednesday.
Angels Up Next:Garrett Richards makes his second Cactus League start, opposite lefty Robbie Ray, when the Angels travel to Salt River Fields to face the D-backs on Tuesday. Game time is 3:10 p.m. PT. Richards, who will probably be the Opening Day starter, gave up a couple of runs in his second and final inning during his Cactus League debut five days earlier.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast.