White Sox 5, Angels 0: Everything is fixed

The White Sox have won again, and in doing so, have not merely stopped a three-game skid, but restored hope to baseball, justice to the region, and raised the expected weekend high temperature in Chicago by four degrees.

Or they grinded out a win against what does not appear to be a very good Angels team, but slapped on enough encouraging individual moments for us to come away believers again. It does not matter, they needed either one just as badly.

1. Mat Latos, disconcerting tomato can of the Spring, has smoothly transitioned into being the revitalization story of April. His 6.1 innings of shutout ball Tuesday night were a continuation of his runaway early success and lowered his season ERA to 0.49, but this game saw Latos get particularly nasty. He struck out five while flashing his hardest breaking stuff of the season, and was even too lively for the strike zone early in the game (three walks in the first two innings).

He’s still getting relatively kid gloves treatment by management, but the double that Latos allowed to get chased in the seventh was the first hit out of the infield all night. The results are outstanding, and the stuff is catching up.

2. Scuffling middle-of-the-order sluggers Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier got lifted beyond their horrendous starts to the season at the expense of Angels starter Matt Shoemaker. Abreu led off the fourth with a solo dinger to center, after Frazier led off the second with a bomb to left field against the mediocre Los Angeles right-hander, amid a night where he reached base three times, scored twice and vaulted his OPS over .600 again.

3. The Sox exploded for their first game with more than three runs in a week, by scoring three runs alone in the eighth off lefty reliever Jose Alvarez, who must have done something nasty recently to Mike Scioscia. Things peaked when Scioscia put Frazier on first with Jimmy Rollins on third, only to have Melky Cabrera send them both home with a booming triple to the right-center gap.

Cabrera then immediately scored on a lined Brett Lawrie single to right, giving the two hottest hitters in the lineup a rare opportunity to work together.

4. Sox defense even got an opportunity to provide a plus contribution. Frazier provided more sparkling work at third base, but the highlight of the night was Adam Eaton gunning down Andrelton Simmons at the plate with a blazing one-hop throw to keep the Angels — and Latos’ line — scoreless in the seventh.

5. The throw allowed the Sox bullpen to keep the game scoreless. Matt Albers extended his scoreless appearance streak to 27 games despite allowing that single with Simmons on second. Nate Jones got a save — the first of his career — for pitching two perfect innings, which saw him tie the hands of the best player in the world with an 89 mph slider.


Team Record: 9-5

Next game is Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. CT vs. the Angels on WGN.

Lead Photo Credit: Mike Dinovo // USA Today Sports Images

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