ANAHEIM -- White Sox starting pitchers featured a 2.91 ERA and .198 opponents average against over the last 11 games entering Wednesday night at Angel Stadium, with eight of those being quality starts.Unfortunately for James Shields, a native of Southern California, that trend did not continue.Michael Trout, Jose Pujols and
ANAHEIM -- White Sox starting pitchers featured a 2.91 ERA and .198 opponents average against over the last 11 games entering Wednesday night at Angel Stadium, with eight of those being quality starts.
Unfortunately for James Shields, a native of Southern California, that trend did not continue.
Michael Trout, Jose Pujols and Shohei Ohtani each homered against the right-hander, propelling the Angels to an 11-3 victory and their first win over the White Sox in this four-game series. Trout's solo shot came in the first, while Ohtani launched a two-run shot during a four-run fifth.
Pujols, who also swiped third base as part of an eventful night, went deep leading off the second. It was the 631st home run of his historic career, moving him past Ken Griffey Jr. for sixth place on the all-time list.
"Shieldsy has been really really good for us in spite of his record. He gives us really good outings," said White Sox manager Rick Renteria of Shields, who fell to 4-12. "Today they got him early and he was trying to get through it.
"You gotta look beyond his record and look at the quality starts he's given us. Today he continued to try to grind like he always does and was just in my mind's eye I could see we were going to have to make a change."
While Shields allowed the solo blasts in each of the first two innings, he also struck out the side in both frames. He exited in the fifth after the first five Angels reached base, allowing six runs on seven hits to go with his seven strikeouts.
"Early in the game, I had really good stuff," Shields said. "I actually threw a slider that backed up on me to Trout. He's a pretty good hitter. Can't really make mistakes like that to him. But I wasn't worried about that home run early.
"Felt really good early and then the balls, I wasn't getting a good grip on the ball the last couple of innings. I missed my spots and they were taking full advantage. It wasn't a very good outing for me."
The Angels tallied five more runs in the sixth off of reliever Chris Volstad, with Trout delivering a three-run homer to right. The White Sox scored both their runs off of Angels starter Tyler Skaggs in the fourth on a Yoan Moncada sacrifice fly and Leury Garcia coming home on Avisail Garcia's hard-hit grounder getting past shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Matt Davidson added his 15th home run in the ninth.
Thirteen of Davidson's 15 home runs this season have come on the road.
Shields has been mentioned on numerous occasions as a trade candidate, with the veteran hurler having worked at least six innings in 15 of his last 17 starts entering Wednesday. He was coming off back-to-back starts allowing a total of three earned runs in 13 2/3 innings, with 12 strikeouts and no home runs allowed, but the four-plus innings worked Wednesday marked the shortest start of his '18 season.
"To me, that's just unacceptable," Shields said. "The game was on me today. I lost the game for the team. Overall, for the most part all season, I've been going pretty deep. It was a disappointing day for me today."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Shields fell to 1-14 over his last 19 appearances (18 starts) against the American League West. He is 0-7 over his last nine road appearances (eight starts) this season, having not won on the road since Opening Day in Kansas City.
HE SAID IT
"He's got a really good eye. He knows what he's looking for. He knows his zone. When he puts a good swing on a pitch in his zone, he knows he can do damage. And he has continued to evolve as a hitter."-- Renteria, on Trout
Dylan Covey (4-5, 4.95) is scheduled to make his 13th start of the season and second career start vs. the Angels in the series finale Thursday at Angel Stadium, with first pitch scheduled for 3:07 p.m. CT. Covey earned the win in his last start on July 21 at Seattle after allowing just two hits over 8 1/3 scoreless innings, holding the Mariners hitless through the first five. The Angels will counter with right-hander Nick Tropeano.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.