ANAHEIM, Calif. — James McCann is certainly enjoying a grand week at the plate.
The Chicago White Sox catcher hit his second grand slam in three games during Friday night's 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
McCann, who launched a slam during the eighth inning Wednesday at Houston, did it in the eighth again on Friday. He sent Ty Buttrey's slider over the wall in left-centre to break open a one-run game.
"It's a special feeling. It's something I could never have dreamed of," said McCann, who has five career grand slams. "In both situations I was just looking for a pitch to handle and thankfully I didn't miss them."
Lucas Giolito (13-6) struck out 11 over six innings in a matchup of Southern California pitchers. The Santa Monica native — who allowed two runs and three hits — is 8-2 with 99 strikeouts in 12 road starts.
Angels starter Patrick Sandoval, who grew up in Mission Viejo, was making his third major league start but first at home.
AL home run leader Mike Trout hit a solo shot to centre field in the fifth to bring the Angels to 3-2. It was his 41st of the season, which ties a career high from 2015.
"It's pretty cool to do that in the middle of August. Month and a half left, we've got to finish strong," Trout said.
Giolito became the first White Sox right-hander to have consecutive outings with 11 or more strikeouts since Javier Vázquez in 2007. The only time he was in big trouble was when he loaded the bases with one out in the first, but he got out of it by striking out Kole Calhoun and getting Albert Pujols to ground out.
"It was definitely more of a battle-type day than my previous outing, but trusted the game plan, trusted what McCann was doing back there," Giolito said. "He was sequencing really well and I was just going with it."
McCann has a career-high 14 home runs on the year. He also had three hits and has hit safely in nine of his last 11 games.
Sandoval (0-1) allowed three runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. The left-hander was taken out as the White Sox were about to go through the order for the third time.
"I've been pretty rigid for some time (about taking young pitchers out before their third trip through the order)," manager Brad Ausmus said. "Also in the back of my mind is we have all these young guys and we're coming up against innings limits soon. If it saves an inning and allows them to pitch through September, that would be great."
Leury Garcia doubled leading off the third and scored on Tim Anderson's single. Anderson scored later in the inning on a wild pitch by Sandoval.
Los Angeles answered in the third when David Fletcher led off with a triple and came home on Shohei Ohtani's single. Chicago pushed the margin back to two when Welington Castillo doubled, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Yolmer Sanchez's bunt single.
Trout had his fifth outfield assist during the sixth inning when he threw out McCann at third base. McCann overshot the bag and Matt Thaiss was able to apply the tag as McCann was trying to dive back.
According to MLB Statcast, Trout's throw was measured at 92 mph. Trout said one of the things he worked on during the off-season was improving his velocity on throws.
"I kind of didn't even get a good grip at first. I bobbled the transfer, but Thaiss made a good tag and obviously McCann slid past the bag," Trout said. "Sometimes I get too antsy. You try and throw it too hard, and it sails on you. I tried to be under control, get a good grip and let it rip."
Ohtani became the third Japanese-born player to reach 15 home runs and 50 RBIs in each of his first two major league seasons, joining Tadahito Iguchi (2005-06) and Hideki Matsui (2003-04).
Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton was an analyst for NBC Chicago as White Sox analyst Steve Stone did not make the road trip.
Angels: SS Andrelton Simmons (left ankle sprain) fielded grounders before the game and could start swinging a bat on Saturday.
White Sox: INF Yoán Moncada (right hamstring strain) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte and went 1 for 5.
White Sox: LHP Hector Santiago (1-1, 7.11 ERA) makes his second start of the year for Chicago after beginning the season with the Mets.
Angels: LHP José Suarez (2-4, 6.57) is 0-3 with a 7.56 ERA in his last eight starts and has given up six runs in each of his last two outings.
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