CHICAGO (AP) Matt Thaiss and the Los Angeles Angels spoiled Liam Hendriks' party.
In the most polite way.
Thaiss and Brandon Drury homered during a fast start for the Angels, who graciously welcomed Hendriks back to the majors before holding off the Chicago White Sox for a 6-4 victory Monday night.
Drury hit a three-run shot and Thaiss followed with another drive during a four-run first inning against a shaky Michael Kopech. Griffin Canning (4-2) struck out nine in six innings, and Mike Trout finished with two hits.
Hendriks pitched the eighth in his first big league appearance since he was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The crowd of 23,599 roared when he walked out to the bullpen after the fourth, and then saluted the All-Star closer with a standing ovation when he entered the game.
Hendriks stood behind the mound and soaked in the scene as the crowd cheered. The Angels also applauded, and Thaiss waited before stepping into the batter’s box - giving Hendriks more time to appreciate the moment.
“I want to thank Matt Thaiss for stepping out and giving me time to go about doing that,” Hendriks said. “I really appreciate that. That was a huge sign of respect.”
The Angels scored two runs on Zach Neto’s sacrifice fly and Trout’s RBI single, but the crowd still cheered as Hendriks walked to dugout when the inning was over.
"There was some positives from a purely baseball aspect, but there was definitely some things to work on,” Hendriks said.
The 22-year-old Neto, a first-round pick in last year's amateur draft, also made a terrific defensive play on the last out of the game.
“It's very impressive what he's doing, but he's really just settled in. He's part of this group,” manager Phil Nevin said. “He does things that rookies don't do.”
Eloy Jiménez, Andrew Vaughn and Romy González homered for Chicago in its third consecutive loss. Kopech (3-5) struck out 10 in 4 1/3 innings, but he also hit two batters, threw two wild pitches and walked two.
After Canning departed, Ben Joyce pitched an impressive seventh in his big league debut for the Angels. He struck out two on sinkers of 101.8 mph and 100.6 mph.
“It felt awesome. I felt very comfortable, a lot more comfortable than I thought I’d feel,” Joyce said. “Just went out and trusted my stuff and threw strikes and it worked out. It was an amazing feeling.”
Carlos Estévez got three outs for his 13th save. Jiménez hit a leadoff homer and Chicago put two on with one out, but pinch-hitter Jake Burger popped out and Yasmani Grandal was robbed of a hit on a diving play by Neto.
“There's only a few shortstops that can make that play,” Thaiss said. “That was awesome.”
Angels slugger Shohei Ohtani was shaken up after he was hit on his right shin by a pitch in the first. He stayed in the game after he was visited by a trainer and Nevin.
With Trout on third and Ohtani on second following a wild pitch, Drury drove a 1-0 fastball deep to left-center for his ninth homer. Thaiss then made it 4-0 with a 414-foot shot to center.
Chicago got one back on Jiménez's two-out RBI single in the first, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Vaughn went deep in the fourth and González connected in the fifth.
Angels: 3B Anthony Rendon (left groin strain) threw in the outfield and fielded some grounders before the game. “He feels good, so another step today. Get him out on the field and reassess it tomorrow again,” Nevin said. ... INF Jared Walsh was out of the starting lineup, but he entered in the sixth at first base. Walsh missed the start of the season because of headaches and insomnia. “He feels great. ... He's had no issues so far,” Nevin said, “and that's the best news.”
White Sox: RHP Jimmy Lambert was placed on the 15-day injured list with right ankle inflammation. ... General manager Rick Hahn said INF Elvis Andrus (strained left oblique) and RHP Mike Clevinger (right wrist inflammation) could be activated during the team's current homestand. Andrus homered during his second rehab appearance with Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday night, and Clevinger threw a simulated game before the opener against the Angels. ... OF Billy Hamilton (left hamstring strain) could begin a rehab assignment in the next week to 10 days, according to Hahn.
Angels left-hander Tyler Anderson (2-0, 4.81 ERA) and White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito (3-4, 3.98 ERA) take the mound on Tuesday night. Anderson pitched six innings of one-run ball in a 7-3 win against Boston last week. Giolito is 2-2 with a 4.57 ERA in his last four starts.
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