Houston, TX – Erik Bedard came out on top in a pitchers' duel and the Houston Astros were able to overcome 14 strikeouts from Chris Sale to take the opener of a four-game set, 2-1, on Friday at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros plated both their runs off Sale (5-5) in an error-fueled fifth inning, which saw Jose Altuve's infield hit push across the go-ahead run.
Both runs went unearned to Sale, who scattered just five hits over an eight- inning complete game. He fell one strikeout shy of his career-mark set on May 28, 2012 when he fanned 15 Tampa Bay Rays.
"When we're facing (Sale), we know that we're going to be facing one of the best," Altuve said. "We just try to do the best we can to get the hits and score the runs we need to win the game."
The White Sox didn't have much success against Bedard (2-3), though, with the lefty limiting Chicago to three hits and a sac fly -- which went unearned -- over six frames. He struck out six and Jose Veras notched his 12th save with a scoreless ninth.
Sale struck out seven through the first four innings and was staked to a 1-0 lead after a sac fly from Adam Dunn plated Paul Konerko, who led off with a double and moved to third on a passed ball.
However, the Chicago starter was let down the following frame by his infield, specifically Alexei Ramirez, who committed two errors in the frame.
The shortstop muffed a Ronny Cedeno grounder to start the inning, and later threw wide of second baseman Gordon Beckham while trying to turn a double- play. His throw went into right field and Cedeno was able to score easily. Altuve then sent the Astros in front by beating out an infield hit.
The White Sox put a base runner on in each of the last three frames, but never advanced past second base. They had just six hits for the contest.
"It is tough any time you let one slip away to start a road trip. Hopefully we collectively build off of this and feed off of this and bounce back for the rest of the road trip," Sale said.
Chicago came in as winners in three of four and had captured five of its last eight games in Houston ... The Astros only had five hits ... Konerko went 2- for-3 ... The White Sox were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.