The Houston Astros came into Friday's series opener against the Chicago White Sox, winners of 10 of their last 11 games. The Astros made it 11 out of 12 behind six strong innings from Mike Fiers, three quality inning from the bullpen, and a blast from Carlos Gomez in a 5-0 win at Minute Maid Park.
The tone was set earlier with hard outs from both sides. The offenses, try as they might, would be held in check by starter Mike Fiers and Miguel Gonzalez -- who was the tough-luck loser after giving up two earned runs over seven innings.
Both teams would have runners on base but the pitchers worked around the traffic. Fiers whipped away doubles from Avisail Garcia, Jose Abreu, and Brett Lawrie over his six innings of work.
The Astros would need a fluke hit to break the scoreless tie in the fourth inning. A Carlos Correa swing broke a bat and created a dying quail that fell in front of Tim Anderson and spun away from his attempt to field the ball -- allowing George Springer to score from third base.
Carlos Gomez broke the game open with a monster two-run home run over the Crawford Boxes. Houston led 3-0 and the bullpen in complete control over the final three innings of the game.
Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson each had 1-2-3 innings in the seventh and eighth innings respectively.
The Astros roughed up Chris Beck in the eighth inning. George Springer singled and scored on a Luis Valbuena double to left center. Valbuena trotted home on Colby Rasmus RBI single.
Chris Devenski put two runners but was able to end the game with the shutout intact. The two eight-inning runs kept Will Harris from being used to possibly save him for Saturday's game against Chris Sale -- the Astros will need every arm they can get.
Jose Altuve went 0-for-4 to break his 32-game on-base streak.