Astros Sweep White Sox

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The Houston Astros kicked off a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night in what has the makings of a possible postseason matchup come October. 

Astros Sweep White Sox: Game One – Offense Production Continues

Houston entered Thursday night’s matchup with Chicago riding a modest three-game winning streak. Jose Urquidy was tasked to keep this young White Sox lineup at bay, and he answered the call, going seven innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, one walk, and five strikeouts to secure his fifth win of the season.

The Astros offense got off to an early start in game one of the series as Houston got to White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease when Michael Brantley hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. The Astros extended their lead in the bottom of the fourth when Carlos Correa hit a ground-rule double, scoring Yuli Gurriel. An RBI single from Abraham Toro and a sacrifice fly from Jose Altuve put Houston up 7-0.

The White Sox managed to get a couple of runs in the top of the sixth inning on a pair of RBI singles. The Astros got more offensive production in the bottom of the sixth on an Altuve solo home run and then again on a Toro 2-run home run. Chicago did not have an answer and Houston won 10-2.

Astros Sweep White Sox: Game Two – A Pitchers Duel

In-game two of the series on Friday night, the Astros and White Sox had a pitchers duel that went into the bottom of the ninth inning. Houston sent rookie Luis Garcia to the mound, and once again, Garcia was dealing. After giving up only one run on an RBI single by Jose Abreu, Garcia was locked in and did not allow another run the entire game. Garcia went seven innings, giving up only one run on seven hits and striking out seven.

On the other side, Carlos Rodon was having a game of his own.  Rodon had a no-hitter going until Toro managed to break it up in the bottom of the fifth inning with a single. The Astros tied the game when Martin Maldonado walked in an RBI, evening things at 1 a piece.

With the game looking like it would be headed into extra innings, Gurriel singled in the bottom of the ninth to bring up Yordan Alvarez. Alvarez managed to get a hold of the pitch down and drove it down the right-field line. Gurriel scored from first, and Alvarez and Houston walked it off in the ninth to win the game, 2-1.

Astros Sweep White Sox: Game Three – More Offense

The Astros entered game three of the series looking for the series win against the White Sox with Framber Valdez on the mound. Valdez looked good in his outing against Chicago, giving up only two runs on a Yoan Moncada RBI double in the top of the third inning and an Andrew Vaughn solo home run in the seventh inning. Valdez ended up going seven innings, giving up just two runs on six hits, two walks, and five strikeouts to secure his fourth win of the season.

The Astros got on the board at the bottom of the first inning on a wild pitch from White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn, allowing Altuve to score from third. Brantley drove in Altuve on an RBI single at the bottom of the third, putting Houston up 2-1.  Staying in the bottom of the third inning, rookie Robel Garcia extended the Astros lead as he drove in three runs on a deep fly ball to right field. Houston got another run in the bottom of the fourth on a Brantley RBI double to left field, putting the Astros up 6-1. 

Chicago cut into the lead on the Vaughn home run and a throwing error by Maldonado putting the Astros up 6-3.  The Astros added one more run in the bottom of the eighth as Correa hit a home run to right field, putting the Astros up 7-3, which would be the final score and the series win for the Astros. 

Astros Sweep White Sox: Game Four – A Father’s Day Rout

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there! The Astros entered game four of the series, looking to close out a six-game homestand with a sweep against Chicago. Lance McCullers Jr. was on the mound for the Astros facing former Houston pitcher Dallas Keuchel. This would be the first time Keuchel has pitched against his former team since becoming a White Sox.

McCullers. Jr looked good on the mound as he only gave up two runs which came off a Jake Lamb two-run home run in the top of the second inning. Since then, McCullers Jr looked dialed in, going six innings, giving up just the two runs on two hits, four walks, and four strikeouts to get his fourth win of the season. 

The Astros got to their former teammate early when Toro singled into shallow left field, which drove in Altuve. If there were a player of the game, it would go to Toro, who went 4-5 with an RBI and a walk. The RBI by Toro in the first inning was just a prelude to what was to come in the bottom of the third inning.

The Astros got to Keuchel in the bottom of the third as the offense managed to score five runs off of Keuchel, which ended up knocking him out of the game in what was the shortest outing of his career. Houston went on to score five in the bottom of the third inning. Houston got some insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings on a Correa solo home run and a Brantley RBI single, putting the Astros up for good, 8-2. Houston went on to get their seventh win in a row and sweep the White Sox. 

Astros Sweep White Sox: Final Thoughts

The bullpen has been the Achilles heel for the Astros all season long, but throughout this series against Chicago, the Houston bullpen gave up a total of zero runs in nine innings pitched. That is pretty impressive given that the White Sox came into this series with the second-highest run differential in the American League.

With the win on Sunday, the Astros have taken over first place in the American League West. Houston will be on the road this week as they kick off a seven-game road trip starting first with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

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Jeff "Rip" Griffin is a current MLB writer covering the Houston Astros. Rip is also the host of The Rip Griffin Show on Apple Podcasts. Rip holds a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, focusing in Sports Management from the University of Houston - Victoria.