ANAHEIM — Johnny Cueto was 4-0 with a 1.34 ERA in five career starts against the Angels and was 1-1 with a 1.08 ERA in four road starts this season going into the White Sox game at Angel Stadium Tuesday.
Something did not have to give as far as the Sox were concerned and it looked like it might when Cueto gave up home runs to Andrew Velazquez, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in the third inning, putting the Sox in a three-run run hole, but Cueto was sharp after that, and the Sox erupted with a 17-hit onslaught for a 11-4 victory for their second win in seven games.
The Sox erased the 3-0 deficit with five runs in the fifth on Seby Zavala’s RBI double and a pair of two-run homers by Josh Harrison and Luis Robert, the latter carrying 448 feet and breaking a 3-all tie.
Robert doubled and scored on Jose Abreu’s two-run double in the seventh giving the Sox a 7-3 cushion. Meanwhile, Cueto faced two batters over the minimum in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Cueto had received one or no runs of support in five of his seven starts, and the Sox opened the game with four scoreless innings against Angels righty Chase Silseth, who was recalled from Double-A Rocket City to make his fifth start of the season.
But Cueto exited after six innings with a 10-3 lead. He has pitched six or more innings in seven of eight starts. He allowed three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out five.
“You’re down three, and I think everybody was collectively saying, ‘We’re not doing this to Johnny again,” manager Tony La Russa said. “Our guys were relentless. Shows what we can do.”
The Sox had 17 hits, including three by Tim Anderson, Robert and Abreu. Moncada, Zavala, Leury Garcia and Harrison each had two. Harrison had three RBI, and Robert, Abreu, Moncada and Zavala had two each.
“I told them, ‘Hey, let’s hit homers. Let’s put the ball in the air. The ball is carrying today,’ ” Cueto said.
Sosa to Charlotte
Infielder Lenyn Sosa, who was 1-for-12 with a double in four games including three starts after his contract was selected from Double-A Birmingham on Thursday, was optioned to Charlotte to make room for Yoan Moncada, who came off the injured list.
La Russa said Sosa wasn’t going to play every day and leaving him up would “impede his progress.”
“He’s made the right impression, but he needs to play,” La Russa said.
Harrison has hit safely in 12 of his last 16 games, going 19-for-51 (.373) with two homers, a triple, double, 10 RBI, three walks and three hit by pitches after a poor start.
“I’ve been through every emotion possible,” Harrison said. “Agner, sad, upset, frustrated, excited. And I’ve dealt with adversity and beginning of season was some adversity but it’s not anything I hadn’t gone through before. I know that’s what happens, you play the game and it can turn.”
The defense rests
The Sox ranked last in the AL with a .980 fielding percentage and allowed an MLB-high 51 unearned runs going into the game. They are to 23-14 when they don’t make an error and are 12-24 when they make one or more. Anderson’s bad throw on a ground ball in the ninth was his 10th of the season.
This and that
Closer Liam Hendriks is slated for a simulated game Friday in San Francisco and could come off the injured list (forearm flexor strain) for the home stand that starts Monday against the Twins, La Russa said.
*Outfielder Adam Haseley, who has been under the weather according to La Russa, was expected to rejoin the team Tuesday night or Wednesday.