CHICAGO (AP) — A.J. Pierzynski doesn’t see himself as a power hitter. The numbers disagree.
Pierzynski tied a White Sox record by homering in his fifth consecutive game, a go-ahead, two-run drive in the seventh inning off Jason Isringhausen that led Chicago over the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 Sunday.
With the Angels ahead 2-1, Isringhausen (3-2) relieved Dan Haren and allowed a leadoff single to Dayan Viciedo. Pierzynski pinch hit for Tyler Flowers and hit a drive just out of the reach of a leaping Mike Trout in right-center field, Pierzynski’s career-high 21st homer.
Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn ribbed Pierzynski about his power surge.
“The guys that are supposed to do that, they were making fun of me and calling me a home run hitter,” Pierzynski said. “I’m not supposed to be doing this so just ride it out as long as you can, enjoy it and have fun with it.”
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.
Chicago took two of three in the weekend series, has won nine of 12 games, and maintained a 1½-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central.
“We’ve had games against good teams, the Angels, the Yankees, Texas,” Konerko said. “You know that we can play with these guys and we can compete with them and beat them.”
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 disappointed, but at the same time things happen during the game,” said Liriano, who does not expect to miss his next turn. “I’m just really happy to be able to give the team a chance to win a ball game.”
Haren allowed one run and four hits in six innings. He is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA over 18 innings in three starts since a stint on the disabled list caused by lower back stiffness.
“Great effort from Dan this afternoon,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He used a lot of pitches to get to the sixth inning, but still he battled and showed his stuff was much crisper, so that’s a positive we’ll take moving forward.”
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 down the left-field line leading off the sixth, his third in two games and seventh in just 15 games at U.S. Cellular Field.
“He’s a good player,” manager Robin Ventura said. “We didn’t doubt that. Letting him go out and play every day for us has been big. I don’t think he was necessarily getting the opportunity” in Boston.
With the bases loaded in the sixth, Izturis grounded into an inning-ending double play.
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.
Alexei Ramirez hit an RBI triple in the eighth against Jerome Williams.
NOTES: Since 1921, the White Sox also got home runs in five straight games from Greg Luzinski (1983), Ron Kittle (1983), Frank Thomas (twice in 1994), Carlos Lee (2003) and Konerko (2011), according to STATS LLC. … 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).
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