White Sox, Astros square off in rubber match

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago White Sox will attempt to end a three-series losing streak on Sunday as they face the Houston Astros in a rubber match at Minute Maid Park.

The White Sox took the series opener on Friday as Geovany Soto snapped a tie game with a two-run double in the 11th inning to help the South Siders to a 6-3 decision. Houston answered on Saturday as Dallas Keuchel struck out a career-best 11 batters without issuing a walk to lead the Astros to a 3-0 shutout win.

"We were just trying to get something going," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said of the aggressive baserunning. "We kept swinging and missing out in front. Not much you can do against [Keuchel], so just trying to steal a base and hopefully maybe you squeeze something through a hole."

Houston's Preston Tucker recorded his sixth multi-hit game of the season by going 2-for-4, while Evan Gattis and Chris Carter hit back-to-back homers in the eighth inning. The Astros are 19-0 this season when hitting multiple home runs.

The victory gave Houston a franchise record of 31 wins through 50 games.

"It's nice to be a part of something like that where the last couple of years we were pretty much down," said Carter on the team's success this season. "It's nice to get this recognition now, and hopefully we'll continue doing it as we move forward."

The White Sox will hope to bounce back with the struggling John Danks on the hill on Sunday. Danks will be looking to give Ventura a reason to keep him in the rotation. The 30-year old southpaw has allowed 11 runs combined over his previous two games and given up three runs or more in seven out of nine starts.

The current Astros' roster has hit a combined .500 since 2010 versus Danks, who is one strikeout away from the 1,000th of his career. Avisail Garcia returned to Chicago's lineup after a five-game absence on Saturday to go 1- for-4. The White Sox played without star first baseman Jose Abreu, who sat out with an injured right index finger. Abreu, who is batting .282 with 29 RBI, could return to action on Sunday.

Abreu has never faced Houston's slated starter Roberto Hernandez, who is also battling to keep his spot in the rotation. The veteran right-hander has failed to submit a quality start in three out of his last five games. Hernandez allowed seven runs on nine hits over five innings to Detroit in his last start, but avoided a losing decision thanks to tremendous run support.

The all-time series between these two teams is tied at 18-18. They meet again from June 8-10 in Chicago.