White Sox could end Angels' wild-card hopes

CHICAGO -- The Los Angeles Angels still have a slim shot at the second American League wild-card spot.

However, down by five games with six to play entering a Tuesday contest against the Chicago White Sox, the Angels' hopes of catching the Minnesota Twins hinge on winning this week -- and getting a whole lot of help.

"At this point, we just have to focus on ourselves, there's really nothing we can control (regarding) what other teams do," Angels first baseman C.J. Cron said. "All we can control is what we do, so we just need to play better and win some of these ballgames.

"We haven't been able to score enough runs. It's not the best time to not be swinging it well, but there's still games left, we're still in it."

The Angels saw their postseason chances dim with a 4-2 loss to the White Sox on Monday.

The Angels send right-hander Parker Bridwell to the mound on Tuesday for the second game of the four-game set, the final home series for Chicago and last road series for Los Angeles.

Bridwell (8-3, 3.86 ERA) has been particularly tough away from home.

He is 4-0 with a 3.20 ERA in eight road starts, and the Angels have won each of those games, a franchise record to begin a career. Los Angeles is 15-3 in his starts overall.

It will be his first career start against Chicago. Bridwell took the loss in his latest outing against the Cleveland Indians on Thursday. He threw 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits while walking two and striking out one.

The White Sox were originally projected to counter with right-hander Carson Fulmer on Tuesday, but manager Rick Renteria decided to tweak the rotation to allow a blister Fulmer developed to fully heal. Right-hander Chris Volstad will get the start instead.

"We plan on starting Fulmer on Saturday (in Cleveland)," Renteria said on Monday. "We're going to give him a couple more days to heal up. For us, it's just making sure he gets through the start."

Fulmer departed after throwing just 20 pitches on Thursday against the Houston Astros due to a blister on his right index finger.

Volstad entered in relief and worked 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out two and claim his first victory in five seasons.

"If we weren't trying to be cautious, Fulmer would start, it's just that Volstad has thrown well," Renteria said.

Volstad (1-0, 1.08 ERA) made his White Sox debut on Sept. 10 vs. the San Francisco Giants, tossing one scoreless inning. the 31-year-old veteran was 3-10 with a 5.57 ERA and one save, 71 strikeouts and a .332 opponents' average over 27 appearances (18 starts) with the Triple-A Charlotte this season.

His last major league start was in 2012 for the Chicago Cubs, when he finished 3-12 with a 6.31 ERA in 21 starts. He pitched for the Colorado Rockies in 2013 and for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015 before returning to the majors with the White Sox this month.

The White Sox (64-92) recently moved out of the AL Central cellar, and they have won four of their past five games and 10 in their last 16. Chicago has scored first in nine of its past 11 games, including four straight.

The Angels (77-79) have lost seven of their past eight.
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