Angels’ bullpen falters in loss to White Sox

Liriano leaves game with bruised right quadricep
Angels’ bullpen falters in loss to White Sox

The Los Angeles Angels’ bullpen faltered once again, allowing three runs in a 4-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Pinch-hitter A.J. Pierzynski had a go-ahead, two-run homer off Jason Isringhausen in the seventh inning, tying a White Sox record by homering in his fifth consecutive game.

“That’s all it was, falling behind hitters, my success I’ve had this year is getting ahead of hitters and making them hit my pitch,” Isringhausen said.

With the Angels ahead 2-1, Isringhausen (3-2) relieved Dan Haren and allowed a leadoff single to Dayan Viciedo in the seventh. Pierzynski batted for Tyler Flowers and hit a drive just out of the reach of a leaping Mike Trout in right-center field.

Alexei Ramirez added an RBI triple in the eighth against Jerome Williams.

Haren gave up one run and four hits in six innings after the Angels skipped his previous turn due to stiffness in his right side. He spent time on the disabled list in July with lower back stiffness.

“If we can get into that seventh inning and shorten the game, it’s big for the bullpen,” Haren said of the starters. “We’ve been leaving a lot of outs for them.”

Haren is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA over 18 innings in three starts since his return.

“I was a little tentative at first, just trying to get past that mental block,” Haren said. “After the first inning, I felt completely normal, which was a good thing, keeping the ball down, changing speeds. It was a tough lineup.”

While Haren left with a lead, Angels relievers have allowed 23 earned runs in 21 1-3 innings in their last seven road games.

“I thought Dan did a great job of pitching,” Angels manager Mike Scoscia said. “We just couldn’t get the last nine outs.”

Nate Jones (5-0) allowed one run in two innings in relief of injured starter Francisco Liriano, Brett Myers pitched a scoreless eighth, and Addison Reed struck out two in the ninth for his 18th save in 21 chances.

The Angels are 3-4 on a 10-game trip. They lost two of three in the weekend series after splitting a four-game set at first-place Texas.

Liriano, making his first home start for the White Sox since he was acquired from Minnesota on July 28, left after five innings because of a bruised right quadriceps caused by a Maicer Izturis one-hopper.

Liriano gave up one run and four hits, struck out four and walked one.

“I was really sore and cramping a little bit,” Liriano said. “I think I’ll be OK for my next start.”

Trout’s sacrifice fly put the Angels ahead in the fifth after Izturis reached on the ball off Liriano, which rolled toward shortstop for an infield single. Peter Bourjos bunted for a single and Bobby Wilson hit the first of his two sacrifice bunts to advance Izturis to third.

Kevin Youkilis tied the score with a home run leading off the sixth, his third in two games and seventh in 15 games at U.S. Cellular Field.

Torii Hunter singled for a 2-1 lead in the seventh to score Bourjos, who had walked leading off and took second on Wilson’s sacrifice.

NOTES: White Sox starter John Danks will have season-ending left shoulder surgery Monday in Chicago. The left-hander, who has been out since May 25 with a shoulder strain, finished the season 3-4 with 5.70 ERA. … LHP Chris Sale (12-3, 2.61 ERA) will start Monday for the White Sox against Kansas City. Sale’s turn was skipped the last time through the rotation to afford him more rest during his first season as a starter. … Hunter returned to the Angels lineup after a day off. … The White Sox host the Royals on Monday with Sale opposing Luis Mendoza (5-7, 4.32). The Angels travel to Oakland with Jered Weaver (14-1, 2.29) taking on Jarrod Parker (7-4, 3.44).