White Sox lose again, fall to 10 games under .500
One night after hitting his first career home run against a left-handed pitcher, Houston catcher Jason Castro recorded his second, smacking a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning in the Astros' 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox Sunday at Minute Maid Park.
With the Houston bullpen clinging to a one-run lead for a third consecutive game, Castro provided insurance with his shot against left-handed reliever Matt Thornton. The home run, his 10th, ricocheted off the left-field foul pole and lifted Houston (26-44) to a 5-2 advantage.
The Astros' bats had been largely silent since their three-run burst in the second inning. With the bases loaded in the second, third baseman Matt Dominguez ripped the first pitch from White Sox left-hander Hector Santiago (2-5) into the left-field corner, clearing the bases. Right fielder Trevor Crowe had set the table with a determined 10-pitch at-bat that yielded a one-out walk.
Houston left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-3) worked five scoreless innings before surrendering triples in the sixth and seventh, both of which the White Sox (28-38) converted into runs. Alejandro De Aza stroked a leadoff triple in the sixth and scored when Alexi Ramirez followed with a sacrifice fly to center field. In the seventh, Dayan Viciedo tripled and scored when Jeff Keppinger singled to left field, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
Keuchel was lifted in favor of right-hander Jose Cisnero, who then loaded the bases before striking out De Aza and inducing a harmless chopper back to the mound from Ramirez. With two outs in the eighth, left-hander Travis Blackley fanned Adam Dunn with Alex Rios at second.
Astros closer Jose Veras recorded his 14th save, and his third of the series, despite allowing a two-run, two-out homer to De Aza in the ninth inning. The White Sox have dropped 12 of 13 road games, setting an ominous tone for a 10-game road trip that will wind through Minnesota and Kansas City before concluding on June 23.
Cisnero, Blackley and Veras preserved the Astros' 2-1 win Friday night.
NOTES: According to Elias Sports Bureau, when Veras picked off Jordan Danks to end Saturday night's game, it marked the first time in franchise history that a game ended with an Astros pitcher picking off a base runner. ... With their 12th loss in 13 road games, the White Sox fell to 10 games under .500 for the first time since May 7, 2011.
Copyright 2013 by SportsDirect. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.