The Astros headed to the Windy City, from Boston, with their tails tucked behind their legs after two embarrassing losses which saw them give up late inning leads. The White Sox came off a series lost against the New York Yankees. This series also featured two rookies playing their first games for the Astros, Tony Kemp and Colin Moran.
Game 1: Dallas Keuchel v. Carlos Rodon
Keuchel has had quite a disappointing start to his 2016 campaign having posted a 2-5 record and 5.58 ERA through his first nine starts. On Tuesday night, Keuchel looked like the 2015 Cy Young winner, up until the top of the fourth inning. Keuchel sat down the first 11 batters he faced until Jose Abreu took him deep to center field in the fourth inning. In the fifth, Keuchel gave up four straight 2-out hits and gave up two runs as he seemed to struggle with his command. Keuchel ended up coming out of the game after losing his command and walking three in the seventh to leave the bases loaded with only one out. His final line was 6.1 IP 6 H 3 ER 5 Ks HR.
This game turned out to be a wild one and saw the Astros give their fans free baseball for the third time in six games. The biggest spark of the game came from rookie Tyler White who had been slumping since the beginning of April. White homered in two straight at bats and doubled to lead off the eighth inning before he was taken out of the game for a pinch runner. As a team, the Astros were able to put together 11 hits and six runs. Astros got homers from White (2) and Evan Gattis. The Gattis shot was a two-run shot in the 11th inning which ended up being the deciding factor. Tony Kemp made his major league debut as he pinch ran for White in the eighth and ended up scoring on a Jake Marisnick single.
Luke Gregerson came in during the ninth to try to close the game out and shake off some questionable outings from the past couple of days but was unable to record the save. Ken Giles came in during the seventh with the bases loaded and struck out Jimmy Rollins and Abreu to retire the side.
Carlos Rodon was chased from the game after 6 IP giving up 6 H 3 R (2ER) 7Ks 2 HR. Adam Eaton went 2-5 and hit a rocket in the bottom of the ninth that looked for a second like it was going to be a walk off homerun. Instead, Colby Rasmus was able to make a great jump and snag the ball at the wall. Abreu had the White Sox’ lone homerun and both Eaton and Tyler Saladino led the team with 2 RBIs.
Astros win 6-5 in the 11th inning.
Game 2: Doug Fister v. Mat Latos
Doug Fister came into the start looking like the Astros’ best pitcher of the first quarter of the season. He continued his streak of quality starts on Wednesday as well. Fister pitched 6.1 strong innings giving up 9 H 3 ER and striking out five.
As for the Astros’ hitters, Rasmus and Jason Castro both homered off of Mat Latos and Tony Kemp got his first major league hit. Kemp’s first hit came in his first at bat in which he doubled down the left field line. He finished the night 2-3 with a walk. Altuve continued to show why he should be considered one of the best hitters in baseball with a 3-4 for night in which he also walked and had two RBIs. Altuve’s night raised his average to .348. Colin Moran was the lone Astro starter to not record a hit as the Astros totaled 13. The Astros scored all of their runs by scoring one run in five of the first six innings.
Mat Latos came into the game having difficulty keeping runs off the board in his previous outings, Wednesday was no different. Latos gave up two home runs and exited after 5.1 innings of 11 H 5 ER 3 Ks.
The White Sox combined to get 10 hits with four players recording multiple hits. Brett Lawrie 0-4 with three strike outs, while Abreu went 2-4 with two RBI. The highlight of the night for this team was in the 8th inning when George Springer grounded into a 5-4-3 triple play to give the Sox their second triple play of the year. They are the first team to turn two triple plays in one season since the Phillies did it in 2007. The Sox scored in the bottom of the first when Abreu singled in Rollins, but did not get back on the board until the sixth when Melky Cabrera hit a triple to score Todd Frazier.
Astros win 5-3 and take the series.
Game 3: Collin McHugh v. Chris Sale
The Astros came into Game 3 of the series looking for their first road sweep since April of 2015. This would be a difficult feat because they had to go against arguably the hottest pitcher in baseball. Chris Sale won each of his first 8 starts and boasted an 1.67 ERA heading into the night.
Chris Sale continued his early dominance as the threw his second consecutive complete game. Sale’s final line was 9 IP 4 H ER 9 Ks HR on 107 pitches.
Collin McHugh pitched very well but was tagged for the loss with a final line of 7 IP 5 H 2 ER and 8 Ks.
As for the offense, well there is not much to talk about here. This game was a pitching dual from the beginning as this game only lasted 2 hours and 11 minutes. That is about half the time that game number one took.
The White Sox started the scoring when Jerry Sands singled in Todd Frazier in the bottom of the second and stuck again in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI single from Alex Avila plating Rollins.
The Astros scored their lone run on a homerun from Gattis in the top of the eighth. The Astros were only able to muster four hits off of Sale, with two coming from Gattis alone.
In the bottom of the first, it seemed as if Abreu was for sure going to open up the scoring with a homerun, but Springer made an outstanding play to rob him.
The White Sox win and avoid a sweep 2-1.
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