Mark Trumbo hit a two-run single and Dan Haren pitched six-plus innings as the LA Angels of Anaheim took a 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox in the second contest of a three-game set.
Haren (12-11) gave up two runs on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts for the Angels, who have taken the first two of this set after dropping two of three to the Rangers. Albert Pujols and Torii Hunter each drove in a run.
"When we got the lead I was able to be aggressive," said Haren. "I think everything was working tonight. We've lost some tough games, but we're very positive right now."
The win moves the Angels just 2 1/2 games back of the Athletics for the final wild card spot in the American League. Oakland lost to New York in 14 innings on Saturday.
Paul Konerko hit a solo home run for the White Sox, who have lost four straight after winning five consecutive games. Jose Quintana (6-5) got the loss after giving up four runs -- one earned -- on six hits with five walks in five innings.
Chicago saw its lead over Detroit for the top spot in the AL Central fall to just a half-game as the Tigers downed the Twins on Saturday.
The Angels jumped all over Quintana in the first inning. Mike Trout led off with a walk and was moved to second on an Erick Aybar sacrifice that saw all runners safe on a Quintana error. Pujols then smacked the 500th double of his career to left for the first run. Hunter then singled home Aybar. After Howie Kendrick walked, the next two batters recorded outs, but Trumbo punched a single to right for two more runs and a 4-0 lead.
Konerko led off the second with his 24th home run of the year to get the White Sox on the board.
The score stayed that way until the seventh when the White Sox made it a two- run game. Alex Rios led off with a single to chase Haren from the game. Nick Maronde then took the mound and gave up a double to A.J. Pierzynski. Garrett Richards came on the hill and got pinch-hitter Dewayne Wise to groundout and score one run. Alexei Ramirez then grounded out to third and Gordon Beckham grounded out to short to end the frame.
"Jose had a rough first inning but after that he pitched pretty good," said Chicago manager Robin Ventura. "There was a couple of spots where we had our chances, just couldn't capitalize."
Scott Downs set the White Sox down in order in the eighth while Ernesto Frieri worked around a one-out single by Rios in the ninth to pickup his 20th save of the season.
The Angels have won four of the seven games against the White Sox this season ... Chicago was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left five on base ... Haren is 2-1 in six career games against Chicago ... Ventura was ejected in the fourth inning by first base umpire Ed Hickox after a balk call to Quintana.