Shohei Ohtani, Angels pound White Sox and Lance Lynn to take series

Ohtani hit two of the Angels’ five homers as the White Sox fell to 23-35 with their fourth loss in their last five games.

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White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn and catcher Yasmani Grandal look at the scoreboard during the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.

White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn and catcher Yasmani Grandal look at the scoreboard during the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

There have been more failed attempts by the White Sox to gain just a little traction, win a needed game to keep their fleeting good moments going and make a statement of some sort so the rest of the weak American League Central knows they still exist.

Add their 12-5 loss Wednesday to Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and the Angels to the disheartening cases in point.

With right-hander Lance Lynn, the team’s highest-paid starting pitcher and leader in the clubhouse, taking the mound, a lineup at full strength behind him and Liam Hendriks available in the bullpen, the Sox were seemingly in good hands going into an important rubber game of a series.

Apparently not.

Ohtani hit two tape-measure home runs and Trout went deep, too, providing the guts of an eight-run onslaught against Lynn, who lasted four innings, allowed eight hits and two walks and hit two batters.

“It’s going to be June,” said Lynn, who fell to 4-6 with a 6.55 ERA. “You don’t win games just because of talent, so we’ve got to figure out how to be better day in and day out. I know it starts with pitching, and right now after this series, we have to right the ship as starters. We didn’t do our job this series.”

Taylor Ward homered against Jesse Scholtens, and Chad Wallach homered against Garrett Crochet, giving the Angels five long balls for the day.

On a beautiful afternoon for baseball, there were oohs and aahs for Ohtani’s majestic homers, his 14th and 15th of the season, from the 17,015 fans. And there were boos for the Sox’ bad pitching. Lynn’s 15 runs allowed in the first inning are second in the majors.

Ohtani’s homers against Lynn traveled 459 and 425 feet. Trout’s traveled 461 feet in the first inning.

“You give up six runs on three swings,” Lynn said. “That just can’t happen, especially the two guys that did it. Those are guys you can’t let beat you. And today I let the offense in too big of a hole. I’ve got to be better. I’ve got to be more efficient. I’ve got to make better pitches and get some outs there.”

The deflating, emphatic result dropped the Sox to 23-35 with their second consecutive series loss. They go into a weekend series against a Tigers team that took three of four from them in Detroit last weekend.

“We’ve got to be better,” Lynn said.

Before the Detroit series, the Sox had won nine of 12. This was their fourth loss in five games.

They need to win series, but they’re back to losing them after winning two against the Guardians and one against the Royals.

“It doesn’t happen [with losses like this],” manager Pedro Grifol said. “It’s simple. We did it yesterday a little bit; we’ve got to be consistent with it.

“As a matter of fact, if you don’t regroup and come back with some energy [Friday], this thing can linger, so it’s our responsibility to make sure we nip this in the bud and get back to work and bring some energy against Detroit and hopefully win a series. We’re not going to let it linger. I’m not going to let it.”

The night before, the Sox won 7-3 in one of their more complete games of the season. But their starting pitchers allowed seven homers in the series.

“I just don’t think we’ve clicked as a team yet,’’ Grifol said. ‘‘I don’t think we’ve come close to clicking as a team. Why that is, I’m not sure.”

The Sox finished 15-14 in May after going 8-21 in March and April. Even short stretches of good have been hard to come by for a team that hasn’t won more than three games in a row.

Two months in, and they’re still searching for answers.

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