CHICAGO -- James Shields has been the model of consistency for the White Sox during the 2018 season, working at least six innings in 23 of his 29 starts entering Saturday's 12-3 loss to the Angels at Guaranteed Rate Field.
But Michael Trout single-handedly put a dent in Shields' streak with two swings of the bat. Trout launched a two-run home run in the first and knocked out a three-run blast in the third, accounting for two of his three hits against Shields (finishing 5-for-5 overall) as the Angels clinched the series victory. In 18 career at-bats against Shields, including the postseason, Trout has six home runs and 10 RBIs.
Only Felix Hernandez has been more frequently victimized by Trout, with eight home runs in 83 career at-bats.
"Obviously, one hitter kind of killed me today," Shields said. "I wish I would've went deeper in the game, but unfortunately that's the way it goes sometimes.
"He seems to get me quite often, unfortunately. I actually was going to throw a fastball in, and we ended up setting up outside and just got a little miscommunication right there on the first home run. On the second home run, we had a base open, I was trying to throw a curveball in the dirt and just hung it. He's one of the best hitters in the game, if not the best hitter. You can't really do that to that guy."
Shields gave up six runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings, striking out one and walking one. Juan Minaya, who was the second reliever behind Shields, gave the White Sox a chance to come back against Matthew Shoemaker by striking out three over 1 1/3 innings.
The Angels scored three in the ninth on Shohei Ohtani's bases-clearing triple against Jace Fry, and six in the inning overall. Seven White Sox pitchers combined for five wild pitches, with three coming from Thyago Vieira in the ninth, as the South Siders fell for the fourth straight time and slipped to 56-86 overall.
Following a strong run by the team, there's an understandable sort of buzzkill with the announcement of Michael Kopech's ulnar collateral ligament tear on Friday and his upcoming season-ending Tommy John surgery leaving him out through the entire 2019 season.
"We've had so many injuries this year. Not a lot of people talk about that," Shields said. "We haven't had our whole team the whole year. It just seems like one thing after another.
"To have him go down like that, obviously it's a blow to the team and our organization. But we've got to do a better job of moving on. We've been playing really good baseball because our starting pitchers have been doing really well. And the last few games, our starting pitching hasn't done good. So we've got to come back, and hopefully Lopey [Reynaldo Lopez] will come back tomorrow and pick it up for us."
Shields made his 30th start on Saturday and sits 13 1/3 innings away from 200 for the season. That goal remains in focus for Shields, who exited for Aaron Bummer after 78 pitches with Ohtani scheduled to hit and Trout on first in the fifth.
"Yeah. I'm on pace. I think this 4 1/3 didn't help me out too much. I'm trying to go as deep as I possibly can," Shields said. "I think [manager Rick Renteria] wanted to do a little matchup right there. We're going to keep grinding. We've got three more starts left and have some tough matchups coming up before the end of the season."
"He left some pitches out over the plate and, obviously, they got them," Renteria said. "Every inning, I think we had somebody up with him, but he ended up finding a way to get some outs."
HE SAID IT
"Unfortunately, it got out of hand there at the end, but not for lack of effort on those guys, who have done a really nice job since they've been here." -- Renteria, on the six-run ninth for the Angels
Lopez (5-9, 4.37 ERA) is scheduled to make his 29th start of the season, 14th at home and first vs. the Angels in Sunday's series finale at Guaranteed Rate Field with a first pitch scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CT. Andrew Heaney (8-9, 4.16 ERA) starts for the Angels. Lopez is 1-3 with a 5.46 ERA in his last 10 starts, although he has allowed four earned runs in his last 19 2/3 innings. He has received a no-decision in six of his last seven starts.