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Angels get closer with walk-off win

Their winning streak reaches five with 5-4 victory over White Sox, and their deficit is cut to 3 1/2 games.

August 23, 2011|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos is congratulated by his teammates after hitting a walk-off single in the ninth inning in the Angels' 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.
Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos is congratulated by his teammates… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)

They count the same in the win column, but they come with an added benefit.

The Angels extended their win streak to five Tuesday night with their third walk-off victory of the run, this one coming when Peter Bourjos lined a bases-loaded single to left field with one out in the ninth inning for a 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

The Angels were seven games behind Texas going into last Thursday. After pouring out of their dugout for another game-winning celebration Tuesday night, they are 31/2 games behind the Rangers.

"We're building off the momentum," right fielder Torii Hunter said. "Any time you have a walk-off win, it carries over to the next game. It's the greatest thing in the world.

"We have a lot of fight in this clubhouse. This team really wants it. Everyone else says we're out of it. We're right back in it."

Erick Aybar sparked the winning rally with a one-out single to right off reliever Jason Frasor. Pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo sliced a double to left to advance Aybar to third, and Maicer Izturis was walked intentionally to load the bases.

Manager Mike Scioscia, knowing how hot Bourjos has been at the plate, dismissed the idea of a suicide squeeze. Bourjos followed with his game-winner, another highlight in a month in which the center fielder is batting .378 (28 for 74).

Known more for his defensive prowess, Bourjos is hitting .436 (17 for 39) with three homers and eight runs batted in over his last nine games to push his season average to .285. The 24-year-old also has 22 doubles, nine triples, eight homers and 32 RBIs.

"Peter is quietly having a terrific season," Scioscia said. "There's no doubt he's the Gold Glove center fielder in this league, and what he's done at the plate has gone unnoticed by a lot of people. He's hitting the ball well, running the bases well."

Angels starter Ervin Santana pitched well, giving up four runs and nine hits in eight innings, but he couldn't hold a 4-3 lead in the eighth, when Chicago's Paul Konerko tied the score with his 2,000th career hit, an RBI single to right.

Howie Kendrick had a big night for the Angels, hitting his career-high 11th home run, a solo shot in the second, and tripling and scoring on Aybar's sacrifice fly in the fourth.

The Angels also scored in the first when Bourjos reached on an error and scored from first when Chicago left fielder Juan Pierre bobbled Hunter's single for an error. They scored in the third on Izturis' double and Hunter's two-out RBI single.

The White Sox scored twice in the third on Brent Morel's single, Gordon Beckham's RBI double and Alejandro De Aza's RBI single and trimmed the Angels' lead to 4-3 in the fifth when Morel doubled and scored on Pierre's RBI single.

Notes

Scioscia said before the game that he was considering using Jered Weaver and Santana on three days' rest this weekend in Texas, even though neither right-hander has ever started on short rest. But that idea probably was scrapped after Santana threw 115 pitches Tuesday night. … Scott Downs, the team's most reliable reliever with a 6-2 record and 1.31 ERA, was unavailable for the third game in a row because of tightness in his left hamstring.

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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