Chicago, IL – A five-run sixth inning proved to be the difference in the Astros' 11-9 win in the rubber match of a three-game set against the White Sox.
"We've beaten some teams this year that, you know, we caught off guard," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said. "Sometimes you catch teams and they kind of caught us this weekend. We had a good game yesterday, but they just did everything a little bit better."
Jose Altuve went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer and three runs batted in for the Astros, who had dropped their previous four series.
J.D. Martinez, Justin Maxwell and Brett Wallace all homered off of Philip Humber (2-4), who allowed six runs -- five earned -- on six hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings. Humber did manage to strike out nine.
"It's hard to work your way out of it if you don't pitch," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Whether that's starting or in the bullpen, I don't know. It has to get better."
Lucas Harrell (6-4) picked up the win despite giving up five runs in 7 1/3 innings.
"He threw great," Konerko said. "He would have been tough today against anybody. It had nothing to do with anything else. He would have been good against anybody today. He was hitting his spots and that was the story."
Houston opened up a 9-3 lead with its big sixth inning. With one out, Wallace hit a solo shot, which Chris Johnson followed with a single to end Humber's day. After Nate Jones got Brian Bogusevic to fly out for the second out of the inning, four straight Astros reached base, leading to three more runs. Houston capped its scoring outburst with a double steal, in which Altuve stole home while Brian Bixler went to second.
Martinez's solo homer in the second gave Houston an early lead. The Astros added a second run on a Maxwell single.
The White Sox tied the game in the third with two runs and took the lead in the fourth on an Alexei Ramirez sacrifice fly.
After Bogusevic led off the fifth with a base hit, Houston regained the lead on a long home run down the left-field line by Maxwell.
"I was just looking for a pitch to drive," Maxwell said. "I had already seen pretty much every pitch he had to offer so, I was able to get one up and get a good swing on it."
Adam Dunn crushed his 20th home run of the season to left field to make it a five-run game in the sixth, but Altuve responded in the eighth with a two-run blast to give Houston a seven-run lead.
The White Sox made things interesting after Konerko closed the gap to five with his 12th home run in the eighth and Orlando Hudson pulled a three-run shot to make it a two-run game in the ninth.
After Hudson's blast, Brett Myers entered and retired Alejandro De Aza and Gordon Beckham to pick up his 15th save of the season.
Beckham has recorded hits in 14 of his last 16 games...Humber is 1-4 with a 7.50 earned run average in nine starts since throwing a perfect game on 4/21 at Seattle...Humber is 0-7 with a 5.92 ERA in his last 14 starts at home...The White Sox are hitting .384 (58-for-152)...Jed Lowrie did not homer for the first time in three games...The Astros have scored 49 runs in their last nine games this month (5.4 per game)...Harrell leads major league rookies with 76 1/3 innings pitched...Houston went 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left only four runners on base.