After Chris Sale stymied the Angels with a 1-hit complete game shutout at U.S. Cellular Field on Sunday night, Josh Hamilton was looking forward to the rematch.
“We face these guys again at our place, so that competitive side of you wants to get him next time,” Hamilton said. “Everybody has good nights. Sometimes they have phenomenal nights.”
On Friday night, Hamilton got his wish when Sale took the mound for the White Sox at Angel Stadium.
But as for the competitive side somehow equalizing Sale’s magnificent ability, well, maybe next time Halos.
In a near-identical instant replay — Sox fans might call it a classic rewind — Sale completely overwhelmed L.A. with a nasty combination of fastballs, changeups, sliders and curveballs.
The Angels did manage to scratch out 3 hits against the 24-year-old lefty over 7 innings, but Sale was once again in control from start to nearly finish.
The White Sox won 3-0.
Hamilton wasn’t the only one on the Los Angeles side anxious to get another crack at Sale.
“I think our approach is good,” manager Mike Scioscia told Angels reporters before Friday’s game. “Any mistakes he made last Sunday, we missed. We fouled them off. Anytime there was a ball in the zone to hit, we just didn’t square it up. Then he had a chance to bring some of his other pitches in. He was on top of us for most of the day.”
It was chilly at the Cell on Sunday night, and predictably warmer in Anaheim, Calif., for the quick rematch. That was supposed to make a difference.
“It’s going to be more favorable hitting conditions,” Angels left fielder Mark Trumbo said. “When we were there, it was just frigid. I think everyone’s going to feel a little more comfortable in the box. After seeing somebody, hopefully most of the guys took away some knowledge.”
It’s becoming apparent that experience, knowledge, weather — none of it really matters when Sale is on top of his game.
As was the case Sunday on the South Side, Los Angeles left-hander C.J. Wilson was Sale’s mound opponent, and he also delivered another quality outing.
But Alex Rios homered for the second straight game against the Angels, and his solo shot off Wilson in the first inning gave Sale some early breathing room.
In the seventh, Dayan Viciedo reached on a one-out single off Wilson and scored on Conor Gillaspie’s single with two outs.
The Angels’ best chance to break through on Sale came in the first inning, when Mike Trout and Trumbo drew walks.
But with runners on first and third, Hamilton popped out to Gillaspie at third base to end the threat.
Adam Dunn hit a solo homer in the ninth inning.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.