Rookie Jaime Barria was charged with the loss after yielding four runs on four hits over five innings in his first start for the Angels since July 11. Barria, who walked three and struck out two, said he had issues gripping the ball because of the humid conditions in Anaheim, which hampered his command.
"The problem was that my hands were sweaty," Barria said in Spanish. "I tried to grab the dirt and do whatever I could to get a good grip on the ball, but I kept sweating. I felt like the ball was slipping."
The Angels have now lost each of Barria's last seven starts, a streak that dates to June 1. The 22-year-old right-hander has pitched to a 5.19 ERA over that span, a significant spike from the 2.48 ERA he posted over his first seven outings for the Angels.
The Angels' offense, meanwhile, struggled to cash in on several opportunities against right-hander Lucas Giolito, finishing 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Rookie David Fletcher went 3-for-4 with two doubles to secure his third consecutive multihit game, while Mike Trout walked four times in five plate appearances and stole two bases.
"We definitely had opportunities," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We couldn't get that big hit to break the game open earlier, and those guys, they worked their way out of some jams. They used a lot of pitchers tonight, but they all came in a did a good job for those guys. On the offensive end, we had chances. Obviously, we didn't get that hit."
The loss dropped the Angels one game under .500 (50-51). They are 10 1/2 games behind the idle Mariners and eight games behind the red-hot A's for the second American League Wild Card spot, severely dimming the club's postseason hopes.
Yolmer Sanchez produced the White Sox's first hit of the evening with one out in the first inning, but Barria caught a break after Sanchez was thrown out at second base by Justin Upton while trying to stretch a single into a double. Upton's play saved a run, as the next batter, Jose Abreu, hammered a solo shot off Barria to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.
The Angels threatened in the bottom of the first after Trout worked a two-out walk and advanced to third on Upton's single, but Giolito struck out Albert Pujols swinging to emerge from the inning unscathed. Pujols, who was activated off the disabled list on Monday after missing six games with left knee inflammation, went 1-for-4 in his first game since returning from injury. The 38-year-old slugger also came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, but he grounded into a forceout to end the inning.
Giolito couldn't escape trouble in the third, as he surrendered back-to-back doubles to Fletcher and Kole Calhoun and a sacrifice fly to Trout to allow the Angels to take a 2-1 lead.
The Angels tacked on another run in the fourth after Ohtani blasted a 435-foot solo homer to the batter's eye in center field. All eight of Ohtani's home runs this season have come at Angel Stadium.
"He's got some power," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "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. Looks like he puts together really good at-bats. Should be exciting for him and everybody who follows him. He's a good looking young player."
The White Sox pulled within one after Leury Garcia tripled and scored on Kevan Smith's groundout in the fifth before plating three more runs to go ahead in the sixth. Barria came out to start the inning, but he was pulled after issuing back-to-back walks to Yoan Moncada and Sanchez. Hansel Robles, who had not been charged with a run in eight consecutive outings entering Monday, replaced Barria on the mound, but he faltered, yielding a game-tying RBI single to Abreu.
After striking out Daniel Palka, Robles walked Matt Davidson to load the bases with one out. Garcia subsequently delivered a sacrifice fly to knock in Sanchez from third for the go-ahead run. Tim Anderson kept the inning alive with an infield single that re-loaded the bases, and the White Sox added their final run after Robles hit Smith on the shoulder to make it 5-3.
SOUND SMART Trout is the first Angels player to have three four-walk games in a single season. He leads the Majors with 91 walks this year. The next closest player, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, has 80.
UP NEXT Right-hander Felix Pena (1-0, 3.42 ERA) will make his sixth start of the season on Tuesday as the Angels and White Sox continue their four-game series at 7:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. He will be opposed by Chicago left-hander Carlos Rodon (2-3, 3.56 ERA). Pena, who is slated to make his first career appearance against the White Sox, last pitched for the Angels on July 13, when he gave up one run over four innings against the Dodgers.