Shiny new toys Justin Morneau and Carson Fulmer joined the White Sox as they began the unofficial second half of the season Friday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. And the new Sox got front row seats to watch an old Sox, Hector Santiago, completely shut down his former team in a 7-0 Angels’ win.
Santiago rarely found himself in trouble in seven shutout innings, scattering five hits, walking zero and striking out seven — five of which came in the first two innings. The Sox thrice got a runner to second base and once to third but were otherwise unthreatening against the lefty the Sox shipped out in the trade that netted them Adam Eaton.
Speaking of Eaton, he was the only member of the starting lineup to find any measure of success offensively against the man for whom he was traded, doubling and singling in his first two at-bats, only to be stranded on each occasion.
The offensive ineptitude again cost the Sox in what wound up being Miguel Gonzalez‘s third consecutive impressive outing. Six innings of two earned run ball means he’s now allowed just four earned runs in his last 20 innings across three starts. He struck out six and walked just one, and the only blips through the first six innings came in the third, when Yunel Escobar blooped a single over the head of Tim Anderson to score Ji-Man Choi and Kole Calhoun followed with an RBI double.
His low pitch count, however, meant a long leash and his third time through the order was predictably shaky; he was replaced after giving up a leadoff double to Daniel Nava in the seventh inning and Johnny Giavotella reached on an error by Anderson — one of two he committed in the inning. Both came around to score in what wound up unearned runs on the tally.
That inning proved to be the beginning of the end to the Sox chances of winning the game, however, as Zach Duke and Matt Albers combined to face four batters and register zero outs, and the Angels put up a five-spot that ended what little hope there was of victory.
The aforementioned new toys were barely unwrapped Friday. Morneau was not in the starting lineup for his first game after being activated from the disabled list, presumably because of the left-handed starter (although one could optimistically predict a rusty Morneau could be at least as effective against a lefty as Garcia). He pinch-hit for Garcia in the eighth inning and grounded out in his first at-bat with the team.
Fulmer’s debut will have to wait at least one more day.
Team record: 45-44
Next game: 8:05 p.m. Saturday against the Angels on CSN.
Lead Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports