Recap: Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani Homer, But Pitchers Struggle As Angels Lose To White Sox
Albert Pujols, 2021 Season
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels had success at the plate, led by a three-run home run by Albert Pujols and a two-run shot by Shohei Ohtani. However, the pitching staff struggled against an incredible offensive attack from the Chicago White Sox. They moved to 1-1 on the season after falling 12-8.

The Angels made quick work of Dallas Keuchel in the first inning. Ohtani tripled down the right field line, and Mike Trout quickly got him home with an RBI single. The Halos had a 1-0 lead after the first.

Andrew Heaney was dealing through two innings, striking out three of the first six batters he faced en route to zero baserunners in the first two frames. Luis Robert hit a ball to the warning track, but a play was made on it by Justin Upton.

The third inning is where things went haywire for Heaney. He allowed loaded bases with Jose Abreu at the plate. The AL MVP crushed a grand slam to give the White Sox a 4-1 lead.

Heaney was then replaced at the top of the fourth after allowing more runs. His total earned run damage through 3.0 innings was seven, as the Angels trailed 7-1 halfway through four. The Halos would quickly cut this gap in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a three-run home run by Pujols to make it 7-4.

In the fifth inning, the Angels would do more damage, as an error by Adam Eaton would allow Anthony Rendon to reach third base and give them two more runs. At the end of five, it was 7-6.

Thins stalled out from here as the bullpens took over. Chris Rodriguez — in his MLB debut — pitched the lights out for 2.0 innings. He allowed zero runs and two hits while striking out three.

In a surprise decision from Joe Maddon, the Angels brought in closer Raisel Iglesias despite trailing by a run in the top of the ninth. On his second pitch, he gave up a home run to Tim Anderson as the White Sox extended their lead to 8-6. Iglesias was removed from the game after retiring just one batter and was replaced by new Angels addition Steve Cishek.

Cishek struggled as well, allowing two more runs to get through, making it 10-6. He was subsequently pulled as well to make way for another Halo debut with Alex Claudio.

Yermin Mercedes capitalized on one of the best debuts in major league history by getting his fifth hit, this one off of Claudio to bring in two more runs. By the third out, the White Sox had extended their lead to 12-6 going to the final half inning.

Even though things were out of reach, Ohtani delivered a two-run moonshot with two outs. This made it 12-8 and gave Ohtani his first home run of the regular season. The game ended shortly thereafter, with 12-8 being the final and the White Sox tying the four-game set at 1-1.

Looking ahead

On Saturday (4/3), the Angels will take on the White Sox in Game 3 of 4. First pitch is at 6:07 p.m. PT as Alex Cobb will make his Angels debut against Lance Lynn.

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