Trout hits first homer as Angels rout White Sox
Vargas allows one run on two hits over 4 2/3 innings, strikes out five
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Mike Trout hit a leadoff homer for his first of the spring -- and almost got another -- and Jason Vargas allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings as the Angels beat the White Sox, 12-4, at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Thursday.
Trout, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored, hit a line-drive homer to left field to start the bottom of the first, then hit one off the very top of the wall to lead off the third, giving him four extra-base hits in his last four at-bats.
"He's a good hitter," Danks said. "That's saying a lot when you stand out in that lineup. You have to just tip your hat. I didn't make two good pitches to him, but he did what good hitters are supposed to do and make me pay for it."
The Angels added a couple more runs that inning, on a double by the red-hot Howie Kendrick and a sacrifice fly by Josh Hamilton, starting his fifth straight game in right field.
The Angels (4-11-3) blew the game open in the fourth, scoring four runs on a double by Hank Conger, a groundout by Trout, a triple by Kendrick and a single by Albert Pujols.
Kendrick, who drove in two runs, and Pujols each went 2-for-3.
Pujols isn't slated to play first base for at least another week, but he started and ran for himself for a second straight day -- though he came out of the game upon reaching first base after his third plate appearance in the fourth. Pujols is 6-for-14 (a .429 batting average) this spring.
Vargas bounced back after giving up four runs in three innings against the Rockies his last time out, scattering a pair of hits, striking out five and finding success with his off-speed pitches.
"To be able to go out and have that secondary stuff work, and get swings and misses, it's always a good indication of them not being able to stay on your fastball," Vargas said. "For me, that's a good sign."
White Sox starter John Danks continued to struggle, giving up six runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings to put his Cactus League ERA at 11.74 over 7 2/3 innings.
Center fielder Blake Tekotte put the White Sox (8-7-2) on the board with an RBI triple in the third and right fielder Dewayne Wise hit a solo homer off Scott Downs to start the sixth.
J.B. Shuck added a two-run single in a four-run seventh inning for the Angels for a 12-2 lead.
Up next for the Angels: Tommy Hanson gets the start on Friday at 1:05 p.m. PT, as the Angels host the Mariners' split squad at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Hanson struggled with his fastball command last time out, giving up five runs on seven hits in a three-inning stint against the Royals. Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo have each started five straight games in the field and Albert Pujols is coming off playing in back-to-back games. All three of them may sit.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.