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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, May 18th (All times eastern)
Chicago White Sox (21-23) at Houston Astros (15-28), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - John Danks (3-3, 4.88) Houston - Brad Peacock (0-4, 5.63)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Winners of three of the last four, the Houston Astros try for back-to-back victories for just the second time this month as they close out a three-game set with the Chicago White Sox Sunday at Minute Maid Park.
Still bringing up the rear in the American League West where they are 13 games under .500 and already 12 games off the pace, the Astros have shown signs of life over the last several days, thanks in part to a narrow 6-5 victory yesterday at home.
The Astros appeared to be well on their way to a much-needed win on Saturday as they scored four runs in the bottom of the first, but from there they scored just two more times and had to hold on down the stretch. Jason Castro connected on his sixth home run of the season, a three-run shot, while Dexter Fowler led off the fifth for the hosts with a solo effort. Fowler finished with three hits and two runs scored.
"The guys are swinging the bats well and just trying to get good pitches to hit," said Fowler, who has now reached base safely in 15 straight games.
Starting pitcher Jarred Cosart lasted five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and four walks, as he secured his third win. Following a host of relievers, Chad Qualls notched his third save with a perfect ninth.
Saddled with the loss was Hector Noesi as he surrendered five earned runs on eight hits and three walks through six innings. While he did strike out six, Noesi did give up a couple of home runs as he dropped to 0-4 on the campaign.
"He stubbed his toe coming out of that first inning," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Noesi. "Guys were on, swinging the bat, all that stuff. After that, he composed himself and really battled and got us to a point where we at least had a shot at it. He pitched well after that first inning."
Dayan Viciedo, Gordon Beckham, and Alexei Ramirez each registered a pair of hits for the visitors, the former scoring twice as the Sox bowed for the fifth time in seven outings and are now eight games out in the AL Central as a result.
Searching for his first win of the 2014 season is Houston starter Brad Peacock. The right-hander, appearing in his first-ever game versus the White Sox, fanned a season-high 11 batters in his most recent outing on Monday, but without any run support he and the Astros still suffered the 4-0 setback at home.
In that meeting Peacock gave up four runs on eight hits -- two home runs -- through six innings of work. In the last three games the hurler has surrendered five home runs, compared to just one in his first six appearances of the season.
Getting the call for the White Sox this time around is John Danks, a lefty who hails from Austin, Texas. Danks, who has spent his entire eight-year career with the Sox, has bowed in three of his last four outings, the latest setback coming against Oakland on the road earlier in the week.
Against the A's, Danks surrendered three runs on six hits and a couple of walks, striking out five, over six innings. In four road games this season, Danks has an ERA of 5.55 and has almost as many walks (12) as strikeouts (15).
In just 11 2/3 career innings versus the Astros, Danks has allowed three home runs and a total of seven earned runs, resulting in an 0-2 mark.
Houston, which edged out the White Sox in the head-to-head matchups each of the two previous campaigns, has knotted up this year's battles at one game apiece.
05/18 10:21:01 ET
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