Although Astros hitting continues to struggle against White Sox pitching, tonight a quality start by the starting pitching was not wasted, as the bullpen protected Framber Valdez's 3-2 lead.
The Astros scored first and it was all Jose Altuve. After a four-pitch walk from White Sox starter Michael Kopech, Altuve stole second and third bases and scored on a Yordan Alvarez sacrifice fly.
In a one-run win, Altuve’s hustle before the third out of the game was recorded may have been the decisive factor in the Astros' win.
The Astros added two more runs in the fourth inning when Kyle Tucker doubled Yordan Alvarez to third base, who singled to lead off the inning. Alvarez scored on a Trey Mancini sacrifice fly and Chas McCormick doubled home Tucker.
The Astros offense managed only five hits, but with Valdez and company on the mound, it was just enough.
The White Sox finally got to Astros starter Framber Valdez in the bottom of the fourth when Yoan Moncada doubled home Eloy Jimenez from second base. A walk to Yasmani Grandal loaded the bases for the Sox with no outs, but a Josh Harrison double-play grounder allowed a run but also helped Valdez limit the damage. An Adam Engle strikeout left the Astros in possession of a 3-2 lead after four.
That would finish the scoring for the evening.
Valdez tied an Astros record held by Mike Scott with tonight’s 20th straight quality start. Although he allowed seven hits and three walks while surrendering two runs in seven innings, his six strikeouts and three double plays kept the Sox from crossing home plate more than the Astros.
Ryne Stanek held the White Sox in a tense eighth inning despite allowing two baserunners, and Ryan Pressly was nails in the ninth, earning his 24th save with a perfect inning including two K’s.
Early game tomorrow, 1:10 CT
Luis Garcia goes to tie up the series in Chicago against Lucas Giolito.