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OC Register: Angels use bullpen game to beat White Sox for 6th straight win


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CHICAGO — This wasn’t the game the Angels planned, but it still couldn’t have worked out much better.

Forced into a bullpen game because of an illness to scheduled starter Noah Syndergaard, the Angels still beat the Chicago White Sox and ace Lucas Giolito, 5-1, on Friday night, their sixth consecutive victory.

Relievers Jimmy Herget, Austin Warren, Archie Bradley, Aaron Loup, Ryan Tepera, Mike Mayers and Raisel Iglesias combined to hold the White Sox to three hits. At one point, they retired 18 hitters in a row.

They received top-to-bottom offensive production and some brilliant defense.

The Angels had a 2-0 lead before throwing their first pitch, thanks to solo home runs by sizzling Taylor Ward and warming Shohei Ohtani.

Ward led off the game with his fifth homer of the season, and fourth of the week. He later doubled home an insurance run in the ninth.

Ohtani belted his fourth homer of the season. His homer was to left-center. He also hit a single to center field, a fly ball to center field and a ground ball up the middle, all signs that he might not be pulling the ball as much as he did when he was slumping. Ohtani has eight hits in 21 at-bats in his last five games. His average is up to .247 and his OPS to .732, which are both better than the major league average.

Anthony Rendon also is showing signs of improvement. He doubled into both gaps, the second one driving in the Angels’ third run of the game. He also made two sensational plays at third base, on a ground ball and a line drive down the line.

Jared Walsh also had an RBI double, against a left-handed pitcher. Walsh is trying to demonstrate he can hit lefties so he won’t be platooned.

It was enough support for a bullpen that performed mostly flawlessly.

Herget got the start, and Manager Joe Maddon said before the game that the best-case scenario would be three innings from Herget. Although he gave up a run in the first, he retired all six he faced in the second and third.

Warren then took over and pitched two perfect innings, thanks to some sharp defense. Mike Trout robbed José Abreu of an extra-base hit with a leaping catch at the fence to end the fourth inning. Rendon’s backhand stab of a hard grounder ended the fifth.

Bradley took over in the sixth and retired the White Sox in order. Loup worked around a single in the seventh, and then Tepera pitched the eighth.

The Angels tried to get by without Iglesias, but Mayers allowed two of the first three hitters in the ninth to reach, so Iglesias entered for the final two outs, getting Luis Robert to fly out with the bases loaded to end it for his sixth save.

More to come on this story.

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