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OC Register: Angels’ loss to the Chicago White Sox is not poetry in motion


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    Chicago White Sox’s Tim Anderson watches his RBI single during the third inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

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    Chicago White Sox’s Tim Anderson, center, is called safe at home plate on a wild pitch past the tag by Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval, right, during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

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    Bill Walton does commentary on NBC Sports Chicago for the Chicago White Sox’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. Walton was calling the game on an invitation from the White Sox and announcer Jason Benetti, right. (AP Photo/Joe Reedy)

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    Chicago White Sox’s James McCann celebrates his grand slam during the eighth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

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    Chicago White Sox’s James McCann watches his grand slam during the eighth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

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    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval throws during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • White-Sox-Walton.jpg

    Bill Walton does commentary on NBC Sports Chicago for the Chicago White Sox’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. Walton was calling the game on an invitation from the White Sox and announcer Jason Benetti, right. (AP Photo/Joe Reedy)

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    Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, center, tries to turn a double play over the slide by Los Angeles Angels’ Matt Thaiss during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. Luis Rengifo was safe at first. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

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ANAHEIM – Mike Trout launched his 41st home run of the season against the Chicago White Sox on Friday. That leads the major leagues and matches Trout’s career high for a single season. The ball traveled over the shrubbery in dead center field and landed an estimated 438 feet from home plate.

“Oh, my God,” Bill Walton remarked. “That’s Trout? Swimming upstream, avoiding all the flies, and sending one ricocheting through the universe.”

The poetry coming from the NBC Sports Chicago booth Friday inspired more awe than the Angels’ play in a 7-2 loss. David Fletcher tripled and scored on a single by Shohei Ohtani in the third inning. After Trout’s moonshot in the fifth inning, the Angels could not score. As a team, they went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.

Patrick Sandoval, the rookie pitcher from Mission Viejo High, pitched into the fifth inning and allowed three runs in his home debut. The announced crowd of 39,206 at Angel Stadium included some of Sandoval’s family and friends who hoped for victory but had to settle for poetry.

With color commentator Steve Stone on vacation, the White Sox invited guest broadcasters to take his place for the weekend series. Television producer Michael Schur is calling Saturday’s game alongside play-by-play man Jason Benetti. Mike O’Brien, a “Saturday Night Live” alum and the creator of the television series “AP Bio,” is calling Sunday’s game. Each are avowed baseball fans. Walton, a retired basketball player, asked Benetti whether the third out of a triple play could carry over to the second inning.

When Angels manager Brad Ausmus took the ball from Sandoval (0-1) after 4 ⅓ innings, Walton asked Benetti if Sandoval would be thrown into the waterfall in center field. He called White Sox pitcher Aaron Bummer “an asteroid soaring through the universe.”

He referenced Viagra, Chico Ruiz, Disco Demolition Night, fish overpopulation, Cal State Fullerton, the historical non-fiction book “Devil In The White City,” Richie Havens, Jack Norworth, Albert Von Tilzer, Mt. Baldy and the size of Santa Barbara county. He suggested the White Sox bring Trout with them back to Chicago – which would constitute tampering but not Walton’s most egregious misinterpretation of the rule book.

The intervening stream of psychedelic imagery was a jovial but unnecessary distraction until the eighth inning. The Angels kept the White Sox with arm’s reach, trailing 3-2, until Chicago loaded the bases against pitcher Ty Buttrey.

When James McCann pulverized a 1-0 slider from Buttrey to left-center field for a grand slam, the suspense vanished. The White Sox led 7-2. Three of the runs were charged to Buttrey, who saw his ERA rise to 3.83.

Fletcher and Albert Pujols each had two hits for the Angels, who fell to 60-64 with the loss.

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