— Sports

Upton, Angels get lucky bounce, top hot Mercedes, White Sox

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Justin Upton’s tiebreaking homer capped a three-run rally in the eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels, helped by a flyball that bounced off the head of Chicago center fielder Luis Robert, beat hot-hitting Yermín Mercedes and the White Sox 5-3 on Saturday night.

Mercedes homered, doubled, and singled to become the first player since at least 1900 to begin a season with eight straight hits. The 28-year-old rookie flew out in his final at-bat, ending the streak.

“I never imagined that. It is great for me,” Mercedes said. “Now, it’s a new day for me. I want to keep doing well and work with my approach. I want to play every day and am excited about that.” The Angels trailed 3-2 going into the eighth. Anthony Rendon singled with one out, scoring the tying run on Jared Walsh’s triple. Upton then supplied the game-winning shot, sending a changeup from Evan Marshall (0-1) over the wall in the left. “I was trying to stay to the big part of the field. The ball ran in on me, so I pulled it,” Upton said.

White Sox

Marshall said he threw a good pitch, but Upton guessed correctly.

“I couldn’t have tossed it in there any better, and he beat it to the spot,” Marshall said. Junior Guerra (1-0) got the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Walsh had two hits and two RBIs, while David Fletcher also had two hits for Los Angeles.

The Angels got a gift in the third.

Robert’s head after he charged in and called off shortstop Tim Anderson.

Right, fielder, Adam Eaton retrieved the ball after the crazy bounce and tried to throw Fletcher at the plate. But Eaton’s throw bounced off the mound and then carried to the backstop, allowing Rendon to advance to second. Walsh then hit an RBI single for a 2-1 lead.

“Move the ball, make the defense execute so that they may execute themselves,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “The baserunner scoring on that (from first base) was big, too. When David came in, I told him not everyone scores on that.” Mercedes was supposed to have the night off, but manager Tony La Russa said he earned his way into the lineup with Friday night’s performance when he became the second player in the modern era to have five hits in his first career start and the first to go 5 for 5.

Mercedes, the designated hitter for the second straight night, hit a solo homer off Alex Cobb in the second. “I’m just trying to wait for my pitch and not do too much. Just stay right there and swing hard,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it is two or no strikes; I just want to see the ball.” Mercedes followed that with a single to center in the fourth inning and an RBI double to left-center in the sixth to put the White Sox up 3-2.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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