Southpaw Chris Sale gets a second chance to reach double- digit wins for the second time on Wednesday night when the Chicago White Sox host the Houston Astros to close out a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
The former first-round pick out of Florida Gulf Coast University began his career as a reliever before transitioning to starting in 2012 and winning 17 games in 30 appearances while tossing 192 innings.
He's struggled to pick up victories in 2013, however, and was just 6-11 on the season - albeit with a 2.92 earned run average - after a 6-1 loss at Cleveland on Aug. 1.
He followed that loss with consecutive defeats of the New York Yankees, Detroit and Minnesota while allowing just six runs in 23 1/3 innings, but fell to 9-12 with an 11-5 loss to Texas in his last start on Aug. 23.
In two career meetings with Houston, he is 1-1 and has allowed just two unearned runs in 16 innings.
Sale faces Texas-born phenom Jarred Cosart, who starts for the eighth time in his brief career.
The 23-year-old, drafted by Philadelphia in 2008, ultimately went to the Houston organization in a trade that sent Hunter Pence to the Phillies in July 2011.
He debuted in the majors on July 12 and threw eight innings of scoreless two- hit ball in a 2-1 defeat of Tampa Bay.
He allowed two or fewer runs in five subsequent starts - all no-decisions - before giving up three in six innings of his first career loss, a 4-2 decision at Texas, on Aug. 20.
In 45 overall innings, he's held opponents to a .208 batting average while striking out 21 batters and allowing eight earned runs.
On Tuesday, Jordan Danks hit a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally the White Sox over the Astros, 4-3.
Erik Bedard (3-10) walked pinch-hitter Jeff Keppinger with one out. Alexei Ramirez singled before a Paul Konerko one-out single up the middle plated Keppinger to get the White Sox within a run. Avisail Garcia singled on an infield pop up to load the bases with two outs. Danks singled to center and brought in Ramirez and pinch-runner Gordon Beckham.
Danks went 3-for-4 with two doubles. Ramirez, Garcia, and Konerko each had two hits for the White Sox who have won nine of their last 11 games.
Jose Quintana tossed 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts in his major league leading 16th no-decision of the season. Donnie Veal (2-3) was credited with the win after entering the game in the eighth and striking out Brett Wallace with runners on second and third.
Rookie Paul Clemens gave up one run on four hits with two strikeouts across six innings in his first major league start.
Houston has now lost five of its last eight.
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 for the World Series.