ANAHEIM, Calif. – Alex Rios hit a go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning and Paul Konerko homered, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
The Angels were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention when Texas beat Oakland 10-3 on Friday night. They will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2006 after three consecutive AL West titles.
Francisco Rodriguez (1-4) took over in the ninth from starter Joel Pineiro and gave up a one-out walk to Juan Pierre, a single to Omar Vizquel and Rios' line drive to center field.
Matt Thornton (5-4) allowed two hits over two scoreless innings for the victory, retiring his final six batters after giving up singles to Peter Bourjos and Howie Kendrick to open the eighth.
Freddy Garcia allowed a run and four hits through six innings, struck out five and walked two in his first start since Sept. 7. The right-hander, who was sidelined because of a stiff back, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth when rookie Hank Conger grounded out after an intentional walk to Hideki Matsui. Garcia came in 15-3 lifetime against the Angels with a 2.45 ERA.
Pineiro allowed a run and four hits over eight innings, striking out two and walking none in his second start off the disabled list. The right-hander got 13 groundball outs through the first five innings and 17 altogether.
The White Sox, who were eliminated from postseason contention with Tuesday's loss at Oakland, tied the score 1-all in the fifth when Konerko ended a nine-pitch at-bat with his 38th home run into the lower seats in the left field corner. He is second in the AL behind Toronto's Jose Bautista, who leads the majors with 52.
Kendrick hit a leadoff triple in the fourth inning for the Angels' first hit and scored on Torii Hunter's single.
Konerko ended an 0-for-18 drought with a second-inning single and was quickly erased on a double-play grounder by Manny Ramirez, who was booed vigorously by the crowd of 41,046 in his return to Southern California. Chicago is 9-12 since acquiring Ramirez on waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 31.
Ramirez is batting .241 for the White Sox with one home run — his only RBI — and 19 strikeouts in 58 at-bats. When the 12-time All-Star joined the Dodgers at the non-roster trading deadline two seasons ago, he batted .396 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 games down the stretch to lead them to an NL West title. The following season, he received a 50-game suspension for failing a drug test.
NOTES: Hunter flied out in the first with a runner at third base, struck out with runners at second and third in the sixth, and fanned again with runners at the corners in the eighth. The four-time All-Star has had two run-scoring hits in a game just once since July 4, and only four times since April 30. ... The Angels' four stolen bases gave them at least 100 in each of the last 10 seasons, something no other team has done. ... The Angels used their 128th different lineup, with Mark Trumbo making his first major league start at 1B and Andrew Romine playing SS in his big league debut. Romine's contract was selected from Double-A Arkansas on Friday. ... White Sox LF Juan Pierre leads the majors with 60 stolen bases, five fewer than his career best total in 2003 with Florida. He has been hit by a pitch 21 times, the most in the majors, and four more than the previous three seasons combined.