CHICAGO -- Friday night may be the closest the Chicago White Sox will come to feeling good about a loss all season.
After falling to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4-3 in rainy, windy, 40-degree conditions, Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was surprisingly upbeat.
“If we play like we play today,” Guillen said, “we're going to win a lot of games.”
Phil Humber, making just his third career start (second with the Sox), pitched well through three innings. A spate of singles and a throwing miscue by Sox third baseman Brent Morel in the fourth inning set up the Angels' Maicer Itzturis (3-for-5) for what proved to be the game-winning RBI.
Humber said the weather wasn't as much of a factor as he thought it would be, but he never got a feel for his pitches en route to giving up six hits and two earned runs in five innings.
“It was disappointing,” Humber said. “I wanted to give the team a chance to win. We knew that [Angels starter Jered] Weaver was going to be tough and giving up four in the fourth inning was not what I was looking for.
“For what I had out there as far as the feel for my pitches, it was pretty much the best I could hope for.”
The bullpen, which has come under fire for giving up leads in four games so far this season, didn't give up a run and kept the team within striking distance. Jeff Gray lasted 2 2/3 innings before loading the bases in the eighth. Will Ohman bailed him out by striking out Izturis swinging.
But the Sox's bats never came alive long enough to make a sustained run. They threatened in the sixth when Adam Dunn knocked in Gordon Beckham with his second home run of the season, a well-hit ball on a hanging breaking ball that cut through the wind to clear the right-field fence.
They had a chance to tie or go ahead in the eighth when Carlos Quentin stepped to the plate with two outs and runners in scoring position. On a 3-0 count, Quentin popped out to left. Guillen said he gave Quentin the green light to swing away.
“I like the way Carlos is swinging the bat right now,” Guillen said.
Weaver came into the game as one of the hottest pitchers in the league, winning his first three starts and recording 15 strikeouts in his previous outing against the Toronto Blue Jays. Weaver fanned only four on Friday -- something that was not overlooked by Beckham, who also knocked in a run in the effort.
Beckham saw plenty of positive takeaways for the Sox despite the loss.
“Let's just put it this way,” he said. “If this is the worst we're going to play and we're still winning games, I think that that's real positive. You know the bullpen's going to do better. You know we're going to hit. Starting pitching has been great. If this is kind of our bump in the road, then I think we're going to be pretty good.”