TEMPE, Ariz. – Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels showed just how potent they can be.
Trout homered and scored three runs, Howie Kendrick and Pujols each had two hits Thursday and the Angels roughed up John Danks in a 12-4 win over the White Sox.
Angels left-hander Jason Vargas, who made his third start, allowed two hits and a run in 42/3 innings.
Danks is coming off left-shoulder surgery in August. He had his second consecutive rough outing. He allowed seven hits and six earned runs in 31/3 innings Thursday after giving up seven hits and three earned runs in 21/3 innings against Arizona on Saturday, his previous start.
Sox manager Robin Ventura said he was not counting out Danks being ready for Opening Day.
“He’s a work in progress,” Ventura said. “The good news is that he’s not hurting. He didn’t have the velocity today.”
The Sox signed Danks to a 5-year, $65-million contract before the 2012 season with the intention he would anchor the rotation after ace Mark Buehrle left through free agency to Miami. Danks made only nine starts in 2012, going 3-4 with a 5.70 ERA before being shut down.
With the emergence of Chris Sale and the return to health of Jake Peavy, Danks is now slated toward the middle of the rotation once he gets healthy.
“The results didn’t show it, but this was one of my better outings,” Danks said. “It’s a small start in the right direction. I need to see lineups like this. I’m hoping to see progress each time and I can’t do that unless I’m seeing big league hitters.
“We’re at the mercy of my shoulder, really,” he said. “I’m going to go out and keep doing what I’m doing. Hopefully we’ll start to see better results starting with the next time.”
Vargas gave up his run in the third when Blake Tekotte tripled in Tyler Flowers, who reached on a walk. Scioscia lifted Vargas with two out in the fifth after Flowers hit a long double off the wall in center field.
Vargas said he mixed up his pitches more than in his previous outing, when he allowed eight hits and four runs in five innings March 9 vs. Colorado.
“To have the secondary stuff working and to see them swinging and missing is good,” Vargas said. “Last time I was leaving (pitches) up and getting hammered.”
Chicago’s Dewayne Wise hit his second homer, off Angels’ reliever Scott Downs in the sixth.