Angels’ wild card hopes fading after loss to White Sox

Chicago White Sox's Nicky Delmonico (30) hits a two-run double against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (Matt Marton/AP)

CHICAGO — With seven losses in eight games, the Angels have let their playoff chances slide away in the last week of the season.

James Shields tossed seven strong innings, Nicky Delmonico drove in a pair of runs and the Chicago White Sox beat Los Angeles 4-2 on Monday night.

With six games remaining, the Angels trail Minnesota by five games for the second AL wild card. They would be eliminated with a loss Tuesday, or a win by the Twins.

"We are where we are," manager Mike Scioscia said. "The one thing we can control is what we’re doing. We didn’t get it done tonight, and that’s disappointing. But we have to come out here tomorrow with the same energy and get the game on our terms."

Mike Trout hit his 30th homer for Los Angeles. Trout joins Alex Rodriguez, Jimmie Foxx, Jose Canseco and Joe DiMaggio as the only players in AL history to reach 30 homers four times before their age-26 season.

"It’s pretty cool, but we lost," Trout said. "It’s disappointing. It was a tough loss."

Delmonico went 2 for 4. Matt Davidson and Adam Engel each had an RBI for Chicago, which has won four of five.

Shields (5-7) allowed two runs on four hits. The 35-year-old has won three of his last four starts.

Aaron Bummer and Gregory Infante combined for a scoreless eighth, and Juan Minaya got the final three outs for his seventh save in eight chances.

"He has been keeping us in the ballgame, attacking the strike zone," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said of Shields. "He’s got that action that’s coming from a little lower arm slot now. He’s running balls to both sides of the plate, changing speeds and doing a really nice job."

Ricky Nolasco (6-15) allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits in five-plus innings.

Delmonico had a two-run double with two out in the first. Both runs were unearned because of a throwing error by shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

Los Angeles got a run back in the second on Martin Maldonado’s RBI single.

The White Sox took a 3-1 lead in third. Avisail Garcia led off with a triple and Davidson followed with a sacrifice fly.

Trout hit a solo shot in the fifth.

Chicago reclaimed a two-run lead in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Engel.

SALUTED

The father of White Sox backup catcher Rob Brantly was honoured during the team’s in-game military salute. Robert Stuart Brantly is retiring as a master sergeant in the Air Force after 37 years. Monday was his final day of service and 56th birthday.

"When I saw my son there and gave him a big hug and he told me that I was his hero, it meant the world," he said. "I can’t express it any other way than just gratitude for this organization, this team and my family putting up with me being away for so long on so many different occasions with the military."

ARM ANGLE

Part of the reason for Shields’ turnaround was lowering his arm angle to get more movement on his pitches.

"It’s definitely a different Shields," Trout said. "He was moving the ball all around, keeping guys off balance."

TRAINER’S ROOM

Angels: 3B Yunel Escobar (right oblique strain) took live batting practice in Arizona on Monday and is scheduled to play in a game on Tuesday. He could return to the activate roster Wednesday or Thursday.

White Sox: 1B Jose Abreu (left shin) and 2B Yoan Moncada (right shin) were held out of the lineup. Both could return Tuesday. … RHP Carson Fulmer (blister) had been scheduled to start on Thursday but has been pushed back to Saturday at Cleveland.

UP NEXT

RHP Chris Volstad (1-0, 1.08 ERA) makes his first start with the White Sox — and first in the majors since 2012 — on Tuesday night in the second game of the series. RHP Parker Birdwell (8-3, 3.86) goes for the Angels. He is 4-0 with a 3.20 ERA on the road.