ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Chicago White Sox are still trying to find an identity. They turned to defense Tuesday night.
Colon got nice defensive plays from Nix at second base, Alexei Ramirez at shortstop and left fielder Scott Podsednik -- who turned Kendry Morales' fly ball into a double play with a strong throw to third when Torii Hunter tried to advance in the second.
"We pitched well, we played great defense and when you put those things together you're always going to give your team a chance to win," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We have to try to figure out how to score the runs, how to play better defense. I always believe defense wins games and I think we're on a roll with those two particular things."
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Nix, who had been 0-for-7 on Chicago's road trip, hit solo shots in the fifth and seventh for his first career multihomer game. Scott Linebrink earned his first save of the season for Chicago, which beat the Angels for the second successive night.
Colon (3-4) worked six scoreless innings before giving up Bobby Abreu's leadoff home run in the seventh. He lasted 6 2/3 innings, his longest outing since he pitched seven innings in a victory against Seattle on April 28.
Colon had not gone past five innings in his four previous starts, mainly because his pitch count is set at 90.
The 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner with the Angels, Colon enjoyed the outstanding fielding plays behind him.
"The one that I was most impressed with was Alexei, diving for balls, making the plays tonight. We've been here for only two months and I was impressed with how we fielded today," Colon said.
The right-hander struck out three, gave up four hits and had four easy innings.
Nix gave the White Sox a cushion with his two home runs. Both were hit to left field off former minor league foe Joe Saunders (6-3), who gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"I faced him a lot in Triple-A, so I kind of knew what to expect and I got the barrel on a couple of balls," Nix said. "I was ready for a fastball like always and I got a couple in the middle of the plate."
Hunter also hit a home run for Los Angeles. Abreu's seventh-inning drive over the 400-foot sign in center was his first home run of the season. Hunter's shot to left-center in the ninth brought the Angels within two.
The loss wasn't the only thing that stung the Angels.
After the game, reliever Scot Shields was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of patella tendinitis in his left knee. Shields is off to the worst start of his career with a 6.62 ERA.
Shields relieved Saunders in the seventh and faced two batters, walking Ramirez and retiring Dye on a grounder to first base. The right-hander had to cover the bag on the play, and he was subsequently lifted by manager Mike Scioscia.
"I think he was trying to battle through it, but he knew that something wasn't right," Saunders said. "As a competitor, you try to fight through some stuff. Sometimes it works out and goes away, and sometimes it makes it worse. Hopefully in this case, it's not too bad and he can come back in a couple of weeks or a month."
The Angels tried to rally, but came up short. They had two runners on against Matt Thornton in the eighth, but stranded both when Abreu grounded out.
Chone Figgins extended his hitting streak to 14 games for the Angels, matching a career high.
Vladimir Guerrero got his first hit since returning from the disabled list when he chopped a ball up the middle in the fourth. Guerrero, who missed 35 games because of a torn pectoral muscle in his chest, was 0-for-4 in his first game back Monday.
Saunders, who had won four of his previous five, pitched four solid innings before giving up Nix's first home run in the fifth. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth after Paul Konerko's RBI single, but Nix connected again in the seventh to make it 3-0.
- White Sox OF Carlos Quentin is being sent back to Chicago for tests on his left foot Wednesday. He was injured in the first inning Monday when running to first on an RBI double.
- Guillen returned from Caracas, Venezuela, where he attended his father-in-law's funeral.
- RHP Rich Thompson will be recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday to replace Shields.