ANAHEIM, California — After putting nine runs on the board, the Chicago White Sox were still lamenting the six baserunners they stranded in the first three innings against Joe Blanton. Those missed opportunities ultimately came back to haunt them.
Hector Gimenez had four hits and three RBIs, but Hector Santiago was chased in the fourth inning and three relievers struggled in a 12-9 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday that ended Chicago's four-game losing streak.
"We had some opportunities early in the game, but we didn't capitalize on them," slugger Adam Dunn said. "When you score runs early when you have opportunities, it takes a lot of pressure off not only your team, but puts a lot of pressure on the other team."
Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez had three hits apiece for the White Sox, who allowed 10 runs during their winning streak. Dunn drove in two runs before leaving in the fifth because of back spasms.
Blanton escaped the first inning unscathed by striking out Dunn and Konerko. In the second, the right-hander fielded a high chopper by Dewayne Wise and threw him out. In the third, Blanton got out of the jam by striking out Conor Gillaspie with his 50th pitch.
"He made a couple of pitches to limit the damage and keep his team in it. Then their offense came alive and it turned out to be kind of a slugfest," Konerko said. "It was a long tough game and a tough one to lose. But the guys had some good at-bats. We pieced together some hits in the eighth and made them bring their closer in — and although we didn't win, that could have an effect on tomorrow's game. Who knows?"
Blanton threw another 28 pitches in the fourth, hitting Ramirez with two out to load the bases. Ramirez, who singled his first two times up, glared at Blanton and had some words for him before he was practically escorted to first base by umpire James Hoye.
Ramirez's disposition improved considerably when Alex Rios bounced a two-run double off the glove of leaping third baseman Alberto Callaspo, and Dunn followed with a two-run single.
Dunn then left in the bottom of the fifth because of back spasms.
"I felt it in the on-deck circle before my last at-bat," Dunn said. "I was going through my same stretching routine, and when I came up it just grabbed. I didn't take any warm-up swings. I don't think I've ever had a back spasm before, and I didn't really know what it was. My big concern after that was defensively. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get down to get a ground ball — or even worse, get up to do something with it. It never did loosen up."
Nate Jones (0-4), who came in after Santiago was knocked out in the fourth, allowed four runs and three hits in 3 1-3 innings.
Los Angeles broke it open in the seventh against Donnie Veal, who was just recalled from Triple-A Charlotte. Callaspo greeted the left-hander with a drive to left for his third homer, and No. 9 hitter J.B. Shuck made it 10-4 with a two-run double.
The White Sox got back in the game with five runs in the eighth, including a three-run shot by Gimenez off closer Ernesto Frieri after Konerko and Dayan Viciedo hit RBI singles against Garrett Richards.
But Los Angeles gave Frieri a couple of insurance runs in the bottom half on Howie Kendrick's RBI single and Callaspo's second sacrifice fly, and the right-hander struck out the side in the ninth to get his eighth save in nine attempts.
Callaspo drove in five runs and Mark Trumbo added his 10th homer for the Angels, who finished with a season-high 17 hits less than 24 hours after Chris Sale completely shut their offense down for the second time in six days with a 3-0 win.
Robert Coello (1-0) recorded his first major league victory, retiring all five batters he faced and striking out three after relieving Blanton.
Coello came on with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth and struck out Ramirez and Rios. The Angels grabbed a 5-4 lead in the bottom half on Trumbo's RBI double and Callaspo's sacrifice fly. Albert Pujols started the rally with an opposite-field double down the first base line against the shift.
NOTES: Callaspo came within one RBI of tying his career best, set on April 18, 2010, at Minnesota while playing for Kansas City. ... Blanton gave up four runs and 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings. He is 0-7 with a 6.62 ERA in his first nine starts with the Angels, who signed him to a two-year, $15 million contract in December.