(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago White Sox will attempt to end a three-series losing streak on Saturday as they face the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
The White Sox took the opener of this three-game series on Friday as Geovany Soto snapped a tie game with a two-run double in the 11th inning to help Chicago to a 6-3 decision.
Jose Abreu went 2-for-4 to raise his batting average to .282, while Gordon Beckham hit a solo shot and drove in a pair of runs. Abreu exited the game in the eighth inning due to a right index finger injury and is considered day-to- day. Manager Robin Ventura said Abreu is unlikely to play in the second game of the series after Friday's win.
Outfielder Avisail Garcia could give the offense a boost and return to the lineup after missing the last five games due to right knee inflammation. Garcia, who was available on Friday as a pinch-hitter, is hitting .327 on the campaign.
Ventura will need a solid showing out of southpaw Jose Quintana, who is coming off of one of his worst outings of the season. Quintana fell to 2-5 on Sunday after he gave up seven runs, six of which were earned, on seven hits to Minnesota. Quintana has lasted five innings or more in eight of his nine starts this season.
Friday's win moved Chicago a half-game in front of the AL Central's last-place Cleveland Indians. The White Sox trail the division-leading Royals by seven games heading into Saturday's action.
Houston's offense has been clutch late in games as it leads the MLB with 88 runs scored in the seventh inning or later. However, the Astros were held scoreless for the final five innings of Friday's loss.
Preston Tucker notched two doubles and Chris Carter went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the series opener. The loss was the third in four games for Houston, which still has a five-game cushion protecting its AL West first place standing.
April's American League Pitcher of the Month will be on the hill for Houston as it attempts to avenge its extra-inning setback. Dallas Keuchel may be heading towards his first All Star Game appearance, as he enters his 11th start with a 6-1 record and 1.98 ERA. However, he has given up four earned runs in three of his last four starts.
Keuchel received his first losing decision of the season on Monday after he allowed four earned runs, two homers and six hits over eight innings to Baltimore.
"I came out pretty, pretty bad," Keuchel said after his first loss. "The wind was a factor early on and the two-seam was kind of just diving down. But I made some adjustments and I felt like I hit a stride, but, I mean, anything's possible and that's a very dangerous lineup over there. They haven't been playing relatively good ball offensively. But that's what happens. Home cooking, and I just didn't get it done today."
The Astros are 25-14 in games started by Keuchel since the start of last year.