The Los Angeles Angels loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox.
Dallas Keuchel got the ground ball he needed as Jake Mayfield hit the ball sharply to Yoán Moncada, who stepped on third base and threw to first for a double play.
The Sox saw progress from Keuchel, who got a no-decision in the 3-2 loss in front of 26,505 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The Angels broke a 2-2 tie with a solo home run by Brandon Marsh against reliever Michael Kopech with two outs in the eighth.
The Sox had a runner in scoring position in the eighth and ninth but couldn’t cash in as their magic number to clinch the American League Central remained at seven.
Keuchel allowed two runs on six hits with three strikeouts and five walks in six innings.
“I’ve been feeling good,” he said. “So I thought (Wednesday went) well.”
It was his ninth quality start of the season but his first since Aug. 5 against the Kansas City Royals.
“Outside of a couple of at-bats, I feel like I really made the pitches I wanted to,” Keuchel said. “I had five walks, but any one of those outside of one were pretty close.”
Manager Tony La Russa described Keuchel’s day as “mostly ups.”
“I asked (catcher Yasmani Grandal), the walks he was missing by just a tad,” La Russa said. “Most of those, I thought he had good command and it was mostly up and two runs in (six) innings, we’ll take that every time.”
Entering Wednesday, Keuchel was 1-6 with a 7.50 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break. He had allowed at least five earned runs in each of his last four starts.
He saw some positives in his previous start Sept. 8 in Oakland, saying, “I felt like this was a good one.” That feeling continued Wednesday.
Keuchel appeared to get out of the third without allowing any runs when Phil Gosselin hit a grounder to third. But a video review showed Gosselin beat Moncada’s throw to first. A run scored with the reversal, giving the Angels a 1-0 lead.
The other run Keuchel allowed came on a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
“Overall, (Wednesday) was one of the better-feeling starts I’ve had,” Keuchel said. “I’d like to keep with that, but I mean, I felt good last time out too. So just the way things go.”
Moncada hit a solo home run and Grandal had an RBI single for the two Sox runs.
The Sox had a chance in the fifth with runners on the corners and one out. César Hernández hit a grounder to first and Jared Walsh threw home to get Gavin Sheets at the plate. Luis Robert struck out to end the inning.
Grandal’s RBI single in the sixth tied the game at 2-2. Marsh broke the tie in the eighth with his second home run of the season.
Robert and Moncada had consecutive singles with one out in the eighth, but reliever Steve Cishek struck out José Abreu and Grandal to end the inning.
Eloy Jiménez began the ninth with a double. Pinch runner Billy Hamilton moved to third on Leury García’s infield hit, giving the Sox runners on the corners with one out.
Raisel Iglesias struck out Brian Goodwin and got Hernández to fly out to left for the final out.
The Sox struck out 11 times and went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
“You have to give the other side credit,” La Russa said. “They pitched well. We had a guy at third twice and they stopped us.”