Rookie southpaw Brett Oberholtzer aims for a fourth win in his fifth career start on Monday night when the Houston Astros visit U.S. Cellular Field to open a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox.
Just 24 years old, Oberholtzer was an eighth-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in the 2008 draft and played parts of four seasons with them in the minors before being shipped to Houston in the deal that sent Michael Bourn to Atlanta in July 2011.
He was 5-7 in 15 starts with Triple-A Oklahoma City last season and 6-6 in 16 starts there this year amid two trips to the majors with Houston.
He allowed six runs in three relief appearances earlier in the year, and is since 3-1 in four starts while allowing five runs on 21 hits in 26 2/3 innings of work.
In three appearances on the road, Oberholtzer has been especially stingy, allowing just four runs and striking out 12 batters in 16 1/3 innings.
He's opposed by another rookie in Brazilian-born right-hander Andre Rienzo, who'll make his sixth career start.
The 25-year-old picked up no-decisions in his initial four starts between July 30-Aug. 15 while allowing 11 runs on 21 hits in 24 1/3 innings.
He finally broke through for a victory on Aug. 21 in Kansas City, giving up just two runs and striking out five batters in six innings of work en route to a 5-2 triumph.
In 30 1/3 overall innings, Rienzo has walked 14 batters, struck out 21 and allowed an opposition batting average of .228.
On Sunday in Houston, Moises Sierra and Ryan Goins each drove in a run in the ninth inning, as Toronto overcame the Astros, 2-1, in the finale of a three- game set.
Chia-Jen Lo (0-2) was charged with both runs while recording only one out for the Astros, who had taken the first two games by scoring a combined 20 runs.
Starter Dallas Keuchel tossed seven scoreless innings, giving up four hits and three walks while striking out two.
In Chicago, Jordan Danks took over for an injured Avisail Garcia in right field and finished 2-for-3 with a homer, while John Danks tossed six strong innings as the White Sox took a 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers in the finale of a three-game series.
Danks (4-10) has won his past two starts as he gave up two runs on eight hits with a walk and five strikeouts for the White Sox, who have won eight of their last nine games.
The Astros won three of four when the teams last played, from June 14-17, in Houston. The Astros entered this week with a 13-12 lead in the all-time regular-season series, though the White Sox won in 2005 when the teams met in the World Series.