ANAHEIM — Peter Bourjos drove a single through a drawn-in infield with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.
Howie Kendrick homered and tripled as the suddenly surging Angels matched their longest win streak of the season with another late rally, trimming their American League West deficit to 31⁄2 games behind Texas.
Paul Konerko drove in the tying run with an eighth-inning single that was his 2,000th hit as the White Sox lost for the sixth time in 17 games.
After Erick Aybar’s one-out single off Jason Frasor (3-3), pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo moved him to third with a single. Maicer Izturis walked to load the bases, and Bourjos singled to left, easily scoring Aybar.
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.
With Texas’ 11-5 loss to Boston, the Angels crept closer to the division-leading Rangers just five days after losing three of four in a head-to-head matchup that left them six games out. Chicago helped the Angels’ cause last weekend, taking two of three from the Rangers.
Los Angeles scored single runs in each of the first four innings, including Kendrick’s career-high 11th homer 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 to end 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.
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.
Earlier Tuesday, the Angels announced a new five-year, $85 million contract for ace Jered Weaver, who will pitch against the White Sox on Wednesday when Los Angeles’ nine-game homestand concludes. Weaver is 14-6 with a 2.10 ERA this season, starting the All-Star game for the AL last month.
Weaver, Dan Haren and Santana are the bedrock of Los Angeles’ starting rotation, which was among the best in baseball before the midsummer struggles of No. 4 starter Joel Pineiro.
“We have one thing nailed down now, and that’s a front-of-the-rotation guy,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “You combine that for next year with Dan Haren and then Ervin and some of the other guys that are coming back, it’s the making of championship-caliber rotation more than just short-term.”
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen on Weaver’s contract: “That shows you how good an organization it is, how good a manager Mike Scioscia is and how good a pitching coach they have. He loves the city, he loves the Angels, he loves the organization, he loves his manager, he loves his teammates and he’s from here. I think he showed me a lot of class. It shows that he’d rather be here. I wish I was his agent. He did a good job.”