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Jose Abreu homers twice, but White Sox’ late rally falls short in series opener against Angels

Jose Abreu hit two home runs, moving him past Robin Ventura and into sole possession of sixth on the Sox’ all-time home-run list with 172.

Jose Abreu (right)
Tim Anderson #7 of the Chicago White Sox congratulates Jose Abreu #79 on his two run home run in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 15, 2019 in Anaheim, California.   
John McCoy/Getty Images

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Reynaldo Lopez had the velocity Thursday yet still met his match as the Los Angeles Angels got a home run from Mike Trout and went on to an 8-7 victory in the opener of a four-game series.

Jose Abreu hit two home runs for the White Sox, moving him past Robin Ventura and into sole possession of sixth on the club’s all-time home run list with 172. It was his first multi-homer game of the season and 14th of his career.

The Sox scored four runs in the ninth, highlighted by a Welington Castillo two-run homer, to make it close. Ryan Goins struck out with Jon Jay on second to end the rally.

Lopez entered with a 2.13 ERA in six starts since the break and hit a season-best 99.8 mph on the radar gun, but Trout tagged him with a solo shot in the third inning, the All-Star’s 40th of the season. It was one of nine hits Lopez allowed while giving up five runs with two walks and six strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.

It was the first time Lopez had given up more than three earned runs in a second-half start.

“I think he understood he was better than he had been pitching and I think he has been kind of raising his game a little bit,” manager Rick Renteria said of Lopez’s second half.

He even made what appeared to be an ideal pitch to Trout, but the two-time MVP reached out over the low-outside part of the strike zone to crush one of his four hits. Justin Upton also hit a home run for the Angels, a three-run blast in the sixth inning off Josh Osich.

After entering 7-3 in their last 10 road games, the Sox now have lost for the 17th time in their last 20 games at Angel Stadium, going back to 2013.

Giolito reflects on Skaggs

No matter what happens Friday night, when Lucas Giolito takes the mound against the Angels, the four-day trip back home to Southern California will be nothing like he planned.

Giolito said that time slowly is starting to heal the wound, but the death of his friend and Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs on July 1 still consumes his thoughts. Giolito and Skaggs, who met when both were top Los Angeles-area pitching prospects, had planned to have dinner this weekend to reminisce.

“Now that there is more time away from it, it’s kind of easier day to day, but it’s hard when I think about his family,” Giolito said. “It’s cool to see how well the Angels as an organization — players, coaches, everything — have handled it. I have been watching it all.”

While working out in the Angel Stadium outfield Thursday, Giolito saw the picture of Skaggs on the center-field wall and the tribute patch with Skaggs’ No. 45 on it. A few hours before Thursday’s game he went outside of the stadium where a memorial of Angels memorabilia, candles, flowers and handwritten notes sits. Before the game, he saw Skaggs recognized during the Angels’ pregame video montage to the Train song “Calling All Angels.”

“A lot of things have been said about him over the past couple of months here but the biggest thing for me, the impact he left on me, was his attitude toward baseball, his attitude toward life,” Giolito said. “I carry a lot of that with me. It helped me, just the carefree, charismatic part. That’s who I am in our clubhouse. It’s definitely something I took from him when I was much younger.”

Thursday was Giolito’s day to settle in. Friday he will look for a repeat performance to his last outing on Sunday. Although he took the loss, he struck out a career best 13 batters in six innings against the Athletics.

“That was one of those days where I was getting ahead in the count 0-2, 1-2 and was doing a good job of executing late in the count and putting guys away,” Giolito said. “My fastball was riding a lot so I was got a lot of swings and misses up in the zone.”

In front of at least 15 friends and family members that plan to attend Friday, Giolito’s performance will no doubt be dedicated to Skaggs.

“It’s definitely been tough but I’ve been keeping the spirit strong,” he said.

Third option

Leury Garcia was back in the Sox’ lineup after missing four days with a bruised finger, batting leadoff while playing third base. It was his first appearance at third all season.

Garcia entered batting .303 (23-for-76) over his last 17 games. He had a hit in each of his last seven games, including a three-hit game Aug. 6 in the second game of a doubleheader at Detroit. He also has a hit in 16 of his last 17 games.

One more day

Yoan Moncada, who is out with a hamstring injury, arrived at Class AAA Charlotte but was not in the lineup Thursday. He is scheduled to play Friday.

“Before he left he went through a regimen of running to make sure he’s ready to start this assignment,” manager Rick Renteria said. “And then we will make sure he comes out if it well. He was confident he would be back relatively soon.”

Rotation adjustment

Renteria said that Hector Santiago is tentatively scheduled to pitch Saturday against the Angels, while Dylan Cease will pitch Sunday. If that alignment stays, that would move Ivan Nova to next week’s series at Minnesota.