ANAHEIM (AP) – Mike Trout hit the game-winning single and Shohei Ohtani scored on a ground ball by Albert Pujols in the eighth inning to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox Thursday night.
Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates scoring with his teammates after an RBI single by Justin Upton #10 against the Chicago White Sox during Opening Day 4 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on April 01. 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo: Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Max Stassi hit a home run and Justin Upton had an RBI single in the Angels’ first home opener since 2016. A late push by the Halos with two unearned runs ruined White Sox manager Tony La Russa’s debut.
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In his first game with the White Sox, Adam Eaton hit a two-run home run that decided the game.
Trout and Pujols faced 13,207 frenzied fans at Angel Stadium, the largest sports crowd in the Los Angeles Metroplex since the pandemic began.
David Fletcher opened the eighth inning with an infield single into the glove of reliever Aaron Bummer (0-1). Second baseman Nick Madrigal then made a throwing error on a ball hit by Ohtani, and Fletcher took third base on a passed ball before Trout singled to left.
Upton walked 11 to load the bases for Pujols, whose high pop-up easily scored Ohtani. Pujols’ RBI on Opening Day was the 16th of his career, the most active as a player.
Mike Myers (1-0) pitched the eighth inning and Razel Iglesias needed just eight pitches in the ninth to earn the save in his Angels debut.
Lucas Giolito retired the first 11 Angels batters and threw a two-hitter for Chicago in the sixth inning. The Southern California native took on the Angels’ bullpen in his first game and struck out six of nine, thanks largely to his changeup.
Dylan Bundy gave up six hits, three runs and six strikeouts in six innings in his first day of work for the Angels.
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White Sox: Adam Engel was placed on the 10-day injured list with a sprained right hamstring, and center Jace Frye was placed on the 10-day injured list to recover from a microdiscectomy.
Angel: The possible blister on Otani’s arm shouldn’t affect his ability to pitch Sunday, manager Joe Maddon said.
La Russa, 76, returned to the Chicago bench 34 years after he was fired and nine years after he last led Pujols and the Cardinals. La Russa was a special advisor to the Angels’ board last season.
Perhaps La Russa’s first major strategic decision of the season showed a willingness to move with the times: He retired Giolito on 87 pitches in the sixth inning to avoid Trout in the third.
Pujols went 0-for-4 with a huge RBI in his 21st at bat. The launching of the quarry on the opening day. Pujols, 41, is tied with Eddie Murray and Al Kaline for the second Opening Day start in baseball history, behind 23-year-old Pete Rose.
Dallas Keuchel hopes to continue his career against the Angels when he takes on Andrew Heaney. Keuchel is 12-2 with a 3.36 ERA in 18 appearances against Los Angeles.
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