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OC Register: Rookies Griffin Canning, Matt Thaiss lead Angels to fourth win in five games


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    Los Angeles Angels catcher Anthony Bemboom, right, holds onto the ball after tagging out Chicago White Sox’s Jon Jay, center, with home plate umpire Chris Segal, left, watching during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

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    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Griffin Canning throws to a Chicago White Sox batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

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ANAHEIM — As the Angels’ season increasingly becomes more about the future than the present, a few rookies provided encouraging signs on Sunday.

Griffin Canning gave up one run in seven innings and Matt Thaiss had three hits and drove in four runs, leading the Angels to a 9-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

The Angels won for the fourth time in five games, even with Mike Trout getting his first day off in more than a month.

The hot streak may be coming too late to get the Angels (62-64) back in the race, but the performance of the young players nonetheless gives reason for hope.

Besides Canning and Thaiss, fellow rookie Luís Rengifo also had two hits and reached base three times. Rookie catcher Anthony Bemboom hit a two-run homer, the first of his eight-gamer big league career. Last year’s rookie of the year, Shohei Ohtani, hit a two-run homer. It was Ohtani’s first homer of the month, and second since the All-Star break.

Starting pitching, though, has been the Angels’ biggest issue, so Canning took top billing in this game.

It was his second quality start in three games, sandwiched around a trip to the injured list because of elbow inflammation. Canning gave up three runs in four innings in his first start back, on Tuesday, but this time he put together one of his best starts of the season.

Canning finished seven innings for just the second time. He struck out eight, which tied his high from his first 17 starts.

Canning faced just 10 hitters and needed just 35 pitches to get through the first three innings, without allowing a hit. The first White Sox hit was a high fly ball that center fielder Brian Goodwin lost in the sun at the warning track. It fell for an RBI triple.

That was the only run that Canning allowed. He gave up a leadoff double to Tim Anderson in the fifth, but then he picked him off second. In the sixth, a two-out bloop single dropped just out of the reach of Goodwin, but he was able to throw out Jon Jay at the plate to end the inning.

Canning got all the run support he needed on one swing of Thaiss’ bat in the second inning.

Dylan Cease, one of baseball’s top pitching prospects, threw Thaiss a first-pitch 96 mph fastball at the top of the zone, and Thaiss blasted it over the right-field fence for his sixth homer of the season.

Thaiss, who came into the game in a 3-for-27 slump, singled in the fourth and drove in a run with a double in the sixth.

In between the RBIs from Thaiss, Kole Calhoun hit his 27th homer, which set a new career high.

More to come on this story.

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