|Chi. White Sox (63-64)||0||0||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||4||9||2|
|L.A. Angels (70-59) «||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||5||12||0|
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- When Peter Bourjos' line drive flew through a hole in Chicago's drawn-in infield and skipped on the grass in left field, the Angels followed their now-familiar drill, charging out of the dugout for another celebration.
Ever since Los Angeles' playoff hopes dimmed sharply a week ago, they have improbably been growing brighter with one spectacular win after another.
Bourjos connected for a bases-loaded single in the ninth inning, and the Angels beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Tuesday night for their fifth consecutive victory, including three in their last at-bat.
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"Oh, we never think we're out of it," said Torii Hunter, who had two hits. "There's a lot of faith in this clubhouse."
Howie Kendrick had a home run and triple as the suddenly surging Angels matched their longest winning streak of the season, trimming their AL West deficit to 3½ games behind Texas. With the Rangers' 11-5 loss to Boston, the Angels crept closer to the division leader only five days after losing three of four in a head-to-head matchup that left them six games out.
"We know how many games we're back, but we don't talk about it," Kendrick said. "We've still got a month left, plus seven or eight days. Even though we went down seven games, we never thought we were out of it."
Chicago, which helped the Angels' cause last weekend by taking two of three from Texas, lost for only the sixth time in 17 games. The White Sox erased Los Angeles' eighth-inning lead when Paul Konerko drove in the tying run with a single that was his 2,000th hit.
"I'm glad it was a meaningful hit in the game," Konerko said. "It was a hitter's hit -- a line drive to right, just like my first hit."
But after Erick Aybar's one-out single off Jason Frasor (3-3), pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo moved him to third with a single -- and he alertly advanced to second on the throw, forcing the White Sox to walk Maicer Izturis to load the bases before Bourjos' hit easily scored Aybar.
"We saw Texas had lost, so that's a big win," said Bourjos, who extended his hitting streak to nine games with his winner. "We're just trying to climb back into it."
Jordan Walden (4-3) pitched the ninth inning after the Angels got another strong start from Ervin Santana, who gave up nine hits and four runs, pitching into the eighth inning in his seventh straight start.
Mark Buehrle yielded seven hits and four runs over six innings for the White Sox. Buehrle hasn't won at Angel Stadium since August 2001, but Konerko's eighth-inning hit took him off the hook for his first consecutive losses since April.
"This is probably one of the worst nights I've had," Buehrle said. "I didn't make too many good pitches. I don't think I was throwing anything close to really make them work or think about swinging. I was falling behind in the count with stuff that wasn't even close, throwing balls in the dirt. It's frustrating because, obviously, we need to win."
Los Angeles scored single runs in each of the first four innings, including Kendrick's career-high 11th home run in the second and Torii Hunter's RBI single in the third.
Kendrick put a triple in the gap and scored on Aybar's fly to shallow center in the fourth, sliding around Tyler Flowers' tag and nearly taking out home plate umpire Tony Randazzo. Kendrick was thrown out at the plate in the sixth inning, however.
Santana nursed a 4-3 lead into the eighth, getting two quick outs before Alejandro De Aza singled and stole second. Konerko singled on Santana's first two-strike pitch after a mound conference, and Santana headed back to the dugout moments later with his head hung low.
"Even the last one to Konerko was a good pitch," Santana said.
Konerko is the 13th player to get his 2,000th hit with the White Sox. Chicago's All-Star slugger joined a group including Jim Thome, Frank Thomas, Tim Raines and Carlton Fisk.
"The first thing I think of is, 'How the hell did Pete Rose get 4,000 hits?' " Konerko said. "Or [Derek] Jeter getting 3,000 hits, or any of those guys. I mean, you do this from the time you're a kid until you're at the stage where you've got a wife and kids, and for someone else to have another 1,000 hits or another 2,000 hits, it just seems like, wow, those guys are good."
|Peter Bourjos plays the hero for the Angels, as his single to left field scores Erick Aybar with the winning run. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Juan Pierre, LF||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.284|
|Alejandro De Aza, RF||4||1||2||1||0||1||1||.316|
|Paul Konerko, DH||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.317|
|Brent Lillibridge, PR-DH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.264|
|Alex Rios, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.214|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||.259|
|Adam Dunn, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.167|
|Tyler Flowers, C||4||0||1||0||0||3||1||.310|
|Brent Morel, 3B||3||2||2||0||0||0||1||.258|
|Gordon Beckham, 2B||3||1||1||1||0||0||1||.238|
|2B - Alex Rios (21, Santana), Brent Morel (14, Santana), Gordon Beckham (13, Santana)|
|RBI - Juan Pierre (40), Alejandro De Aza (9), Paul Konerko (86), Gordon Beckham (34)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alejandro De Aza (5), Paul Konerko (31)|
|SB - Alejandro De Aza (4, 2nd base off Santana/Wilson)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|Outfield Assists - Alejandro De Aza 1, Juan Pierre 1|
|E - Juan Pierre (6, Misplayed grounder), Alexei Ramirez (14, Throwing)|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Jason Frasor (L,3-3)||0.2||4||1||1||2||1||0||3.51|
|IBB - Izturis by Jason Frasor|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mark Buehrle 114-73, Jesse Crain 16-11, Will Ohman 1-1, Jason Frasor 35-18|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Buehrle 8-7, Jason Frasor 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Mark Buehrle 25, Jesse Crain 4, Will Ohman 1, Jason Frasor 8|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Maicer Izturis, 3B||4||1||2||0||1||0||1||.273|
|Peter Bourjos, CF||5||1||1||1||0||1||1||.285|
|Bobby Abreu, DH||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.251|
|Torii Hunter, RF||3||0||2||1||1||0||0||.259|
|Mark Trumbo, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.260|
|Howard Kendrick, 2B||3||2||2||1||1||0||2||.294|
|Vernon Wells, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.205|
|Erick Aybar, SS||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||.259|
|Bobby Wilson, C||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.197|
|a- Alberto Callaspo, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.284|
|a-singled for Wilson in the 9th|
|2B - Maicer Izturis (28, Buehrle), Vernon Wells (11, Buehrle)|
|3B - Howard Kendrick (3, Buehrle)|
|HR - Howard Kendrick (11, Buehrle)|
|SF - Erick Aybar (2)|
|RBI - Peter Bourjos (32), Torii Hunter (65), Howard Kendrick (42), Erick Aybar (44)|
|2-OUT RBI - Torii Hunter (18)|
|CS - Bobby Wilson (2, 2nd base by Crain/Flowers)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Santana-Aybar-Trumbo, Aybar-Trumbo, Kendrick-Trumbo-Izturis|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Jordan Walden (W,4-3)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.72|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 115-74, Jordan Walden 13-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 11-6|
|Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 31, Jordan Walden 3|
|Attendance - 37728|
|Game Time - 2:48|
|Temperature - 78|
|Umpires - Home - Tony Randazzo, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Brian Gorman, Third Base - Dan Bellino|