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Astros split twinbill with White Sox

Greinke’s matinee victory marred by Cole’s scratch from evening affair

MLB: Game One-Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Game One

The Astros took Game One of Tuesday’s doubleheader, 6-2. The main firepower came from home runs by George Springer and Jose Altuve, and two RBI by Robinson Chirinos. Springer’s home run was yet another dinger to lead off a game. Altuve’s came in the third inning.

This one by George went 467 feet, his 26th.

This one was by Jose, his 21st.

Zack Greinke pitched his second game as an Astro, and although he only allowed two runs in six innings, he found himself pitching out of trouble much of the game. He allowed seven hits and two walks, but struck out six.

This defensive play by Springer bailed Greinke out in the 2nd.

In his two games as an Astro, Greinke has tossed 12 innings, allowed 14 hits, and has a 5.25 ERA and a 5.45 xFIP. So far, in a small sample, he has not brought to Houston the form he had with the Diamondbacks.

The Astros slowly pulled away from the Sox as the game progressed, scoring one run in each of the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

In the sixth inning, Yordan Alvarez scored on a passed ball on a microscopically close play at home that was challenged by the White Sox. The man actually can run pretty well when he gets going.

In the seventh, it was Jake Marisnick who scored on a passed ball. Both Marisnick and Alvarez originally reached on walks.

In the eighth inning, Yuli Gurriel scored on a Robinson Chirinos single after reaching on a double, and in the ninth inning Chirinos got his second RBI by knocking in Gurriel, who earlier walked.

The Astros’ relief corp of Will Harris, Ryan Pressly, and Collin McHugh—closing out the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, respectively—was perfect.

A pedestrian win by a first-place club over a rebuilding squad, but a win, nonetheless.

Here’s another “Jake from take farm” play.

Game Two

Gerrit Cole was Tuesday night’s scheduled starter, but he arrived late to his warmup session then departed shortly thereafter due to what the club called “right hamstring discomfort.” Cole’s injury, which was possibly impacted by an hour-long rain delay before first pitch, forced reliever Chris Devenski to make the start for the Astros in Game 2.

It probably didn’t matter who the Astros had on the hill this evening, though, because the offense couldn’t solve Sox starter Ivan Nova.

Nova, who entered with an ERA near 5.00, tossed a complete game for Chicago and allowed one run on four hits to the team leading all of baseball in batting average (.275), OBP (.350), wOBA (.351), and wRC+ (124).

MLB: Game Two-Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Following a scoreless first frame for both clubs, Adam Engel put the White Sox on the board with a two-out RBI single. Devenski induced a spinning roller up the first-base line from Nine-hole hitter Ryan Cordell that should’ve ended the inning, but Devo couldn’t corral it. The error loaded the bases for Chicago, which proved costly after Ryan Goins laced his second single in as many innings to plate two more runs and increase the White Sox lead to 3-0.

Aledmys Diaz reached on a throwing error by shortstop Tim Anderson to start the third inning, and he advanced to second after the wild throw bounced into the stands. Springer sent a scorcher up the middle to score Diaz and produce the Astros’ lone RBI of the night to trim the deficit to 3-1.

Joe Biagini entered in relief and threw a scorless fourth inning for the Astros, though a double by Cordell an inning later scored Yolmer Sanchez, who earlier reached on a one-out walk.

Biagini did the Astros a solid, nonetheless, going three innings total and allowing just one run on two hits.

Hector Rondon needed just 17 pitches to get six outs and toss two scoreless frames for the Astros. Joe Smith also threw a scoreless inning for Houston.

Nova (8-9, 4.51) retired 16 straight Astros before a single by Alvarez with two outs in the ninth. The baserunner was the Astros’ first since Carlos Correa was grazed by a pitch in the fourth inning and was their first hit since Springer’s RBI single in the third. But it’s not like Nova had super stuff; the Astros just couldn’t make solid contact.

Correa did make a highlight-worthy defensive play, with an assist from Diaz, to put an abrupt end to the eighth inning.

Devenski (2-1, 4.33) took the loss in his seventh career start and first of the 2019 season.

Biagini was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock after the game, along with the doubleheader’s 26th man Myles Straw. A corresponding move will be announced before Wednesday’s game.

Box score and videos here.

The Astros will face the White Sox in the series and season finale when the two clubs play Wednesday afternoon. Wade Miley (11-4, 2.99), who ranks fifth in the American League in ERA (Verlander-Cole rank 1-2), will get the start for Houston. Miley allowed one run on five hits against Baltimore, one of his former clubs, in his last outing and has emerged victorious in five straight decisions. Although the Astros’ southpaw did not face the White Sox in a four-game set with Chicago in mid-may, Miley has gone 1-4 with a 7.22 ERA in six career starts against the Southsiders. The White Sox will send a lefty to mound as well in the form of 6-foot-5 behemoth Ross Detwiler (1-3, 5.35). The 33-year-old Detwiler has nine appearances and five starts for the White Sox this season and owns a 7.14 FIP in 33 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs on four hits across 5.1 innings in his start Friday against Oakland, which resulted in Detwiler’s second straight loss. The season series between the two clubs is tied at 3 games apiece. First pitch Wednesday is slated for 1:10 CT.