Baseball / Sports

Chicago White Sox's Alexei Ramirez can't handle Gordon Beckham's throw as Los Angeles Angels' David Freese reaches second base safely on Chris Iannetta's fielder's choice in the 3rd inning at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. (Scott Strazzante/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

White Sox stop the bleeding against Angels

CHICAGO -- Robin Ventura has an informed opinion about which Chicago White Sox players deserve to participate in the July 15 All-Star Game.

Chris Sale, Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez would be his choices.

"But every year we go through the guys who deserve to make it and don't make it," the White Sox manager said. "That's going to happen to somebody. And if it's not on my team it's going to be on somebody else's team. There will be a good debate of who was snubbed. It happens every year."

There was no debating Ventura's immediate concern Wednesday night was his key players' effort against the Angels at rainy U.S. Cellular Field. Yet it was reserve infielder Leury Garcia who lined the game-winning hit in the ninth to give the White Sox a 3-2 victory.

"Obviously great for Leury to come into the game, and just spur of the moment, come through with the big hit," teammate Gordon Beckham said. "That's what it takes, it takes 25 guys. It was a good at-bat for him. Just happy for him. ... It was a lot of fun."

Garcia, pinch-hitting for Moises Sierra, singled home Alejandro De Aza from third against a five-man infield as the Sox snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Angels.

"I just tried to see the ball and hit the ball and see what happens," Garcia said.

Ventura explained his decision to send the light-hitting Garcia to the plate with runners on the corners and one out.

"You're just looking at contact, just the way the field was, the conditions," Ventura said. "Once you get first and third, you get a situation where they are maybe thinking of a bunt or something. It was just a good at-bat."

Sox starter John Danks did his part to tame the Angels. Danks went 72/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. He matched his career high with 10 strikeouts and became the first pitcher to record 10 or more strikeouts against the Angels since Sale on May 17, 2013.

Danks has looked more like his old self this season, nearly two years after shoulder surgery in August 2012.

"I think he's stronger," Ventura said. "There's a certain element to that being away from surgery and being able to locate (pitches), adding his curveball in there. For him, he's changed some mechanical things, angle-wise. ... It has really helped him locate better."

Angels starter Tyler Skaggs matched Danks' performance by going 72/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He struck out six.

Abreu, named American League Rookie of the Month before the game, drew a walk in the fourth inning to load the bases with no outs. One out later, Ramirez singled to center to score a pair and the Sox led 2-0.

"I would say (Ramirez) deserves to be an All-Star," Beckham said. "He's got great numbers. He goes out there and plays every game. ... He is playing really well and I think he will be on the All-Star team."

The Angels cut the score to 2-1 in the seventh when David Freese homered to right. Josh Hamilton tied it with a two-out homer in the eighth. After 120 pitches, Danks then was relieved by Zach Putnam (3-1), who was credited with the win.

"Any win is a good win," Danks said. "It's fun to see these guys really battle. It was kind of a punch in the gut when Hamilton hit the homer. Seems like it really didn't faze these guys too much. Proud to be a part of it and happy the guys rallied in the ninth."

Abreu extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a bloop single to center in the eighth that put runners on the corners. But Dayan Viciedo flied out to center to end that threat.

Twelve of the last 15 Sox games have been decided by three runs or fewer. They had finished their recent road trip winning three of four from the Blue Jays.

"In Toronto we played some good baseball, got some key hits," Ventura said of his team's erratic play. "We come back and you run into a team like Anaheim and you get whacked for one day. It's two games (Tuesday), but it's one day you end up getting beat up pretty good. You just have to be able to withstand it. You see the positives that are there, you see the way we play for a run of a certain extent. Then you can't sustain it. That's the frustrating part."

(Chicago Tribune reporter Blake Schuster contributed to this report.)

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