The Houston Astros take aim at their fourth consecutive win as they host the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park for the third game of a four-part series.
Jason Castro and Chris Carter each slugged a solo homer for the Astros as they emerged with a 4-3 victory in the second game of the series on Saturday. Lucas Harrell pitched 6 2/3 effective innings, allowing seven hits and three runs with seven strikeouts. Jose Veras turned in a scoreless ninth and ended the game with a pick off of Jordan Danks to register his 13th save.
Brandon Barnes also made an impact with a fifth-inning RBI double that ended up being the difference. Castro is 3-for-7 with two runs scored and two walks so far in the series.
"He's having an All-Star-like year," Astros manager Bo Porter said of Castro. "Him being an all-around great everyday catcher is the most important thing, and providing that power is just an added boost. He's emerged as that caliber of player."
Dallas Keuchel will take the hill for Houston hoping to continue his recent wave of success. The 25-year old southpaw is 3-3 with a 4.37 ERA on the year, but he is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA over his last three starts. This will be the first time the young left-hander takes on the White Sox in his career.
Keuchel will be competing against Hector Santiago, who returned to the rotation a week ago to limit Oakland to four hits over 6 1/3 en route to a victory.
"We've known he's valuable," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Santiago. "This past year, seeing his transformation from closer to middle guy, lefty guy to starter, we realize Hector is valuable, and that's another reason why he wasn't sent down when John (Danks) came back. He's a Major League pitcher and you have to figure out a way to use him.
Paul Konerko is 3-for-6 with two walks, an RBI and a run through the first two games of the series. Adam Dunn homered and Gordon Beckham added an RBI double on Saturday for the White Sox as they lost for the third time in a row. They have also dropped 11 of their previous 12 on the road.
Dunn is on a roll as of late with a .429 batting average and five homers in his last six games. His out-of-the-park on shot on Saturday was his team- leading 18th of the season.
Chicago came in as winners of three of four and had captured five of its last eight games in Houston. This series marks the White Sox first trip to Minute Maid Park since 2000.
The White Sox enter Saturday in last place in the AL Central and trail the first-place Tigers by 8 1/2 games. Houston is in last place in the AL West with 15 1/2 games separating it from the division-leading Athletics.