Rapid Reaction: White Sox 4, Astros 3
July, 19, 2014
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox made it 2-for-2 in the second half, defeating the Houston Astros 4-3 on Saturday night.
How it happened: Tyler Flowers drove in two runs, the second on a go-ahead double in the fifth inning. He had three hits and reached base four times. Conor Gillaspie had an RBI. Hector Noesi gave up three runs on six hits over six innings, coughing up a long home run to George Springer and a two-run double to Jose Altuve. Zach Putnam recorded the save, his third.
What it means: The White Sox tweaked their rotation in the second half in order to break up their Nos. 4 and 5 starters, hoping it would be less taxing on the bullpen. But it was a back-end guy in Noesi who went six innings Saturday, lasting longer than front-end guy Jose Quintana (five innings) did Friday. The well-rested bullpen has still managed to deliver seven scoreless innings in two games since the All-Star break. Ronald Belisario had two scoreless innings Saturday before Jake Petricka and Putnam worked the ninth to end it.
Outside the box: Noesi retired the first seven batters of the game before the Astros’ Enrique Hernandez singled, ending the White Sox’s string of 29 consecutive batters retired going back to the second inning Friday. Quintana started the run and four relievers continued it in Friday’s victory before Noesi took the mound. The last time the White Sox had a streak close to that long was in 2012, when Philip Humber retired all 27 Seattle Mariners he faced in his perfect game.
Off-beat: The team that had the roughest night Saturday appeared to be the four-man umpire crew. Three plays went to a review in the first five innings and all three were overturned. Gordon Beckham was given first base when he appeared to be hit by a pitch, but that call was reversed. Alexei Ramirez was called out on a play at first base, but replays showed him to be safe. Finally, Jose Abreu was called safe on a force play at second base, but the replay said otherwise.
Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander John Danks (8-6, 3.99 ERA) to the mound Sunday in the finale of the three-game series. The Astros will counter with right-hander Jarred Cosart (9-6, 4.17) in the 1:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.