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White Sox 4, Astros 2

The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- The Chicago White Sox finally fashioned a rally that yielded a favorable result, turning their four-run sixth inning into a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Monday night at Minute Maid Park.

On the heels of five one-run losses over their previous six defeats, including the three games that preceded Monday's finale of a four-game series, the White Sox (29-38) secured the lead early enough to rely on their top relievers: right-handers Jesse Crain and Addison Reed.

With the Astros (26-45) threatening in the seventh inning, Crain struck out J.D. Martinez and Chris Carter to strand runners on the corners. Crain worked a scoreless eighth inning and matched J.J. Putz's club record for the longest streak of consecutive scoreless appearances with his 27th.

Reed earned his 20th save with a perfect ninth inning. He was making his first appearance since blowing a save June 11 against the Toronto Blue Jays, an outing that ended his string of nine consecutive save conversions.

White Sox right-handed reliever Nate Jones (3-4) allowed three hits while striking out three over 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Astros catcher Jason Castro enjoyed a torrid weekend against left-handed pitching, and he continued that run against White Sox starter Jose Quintana, collecting two more extra-base hits.

After hitting home runs in consecutive games against White Sox southpaws John Danks and Matt Thornton, Castro drilled an opposite-field double to left-center field in the first inning Monday. The hit scored second baseman Jose Altuve from first base and supplied Houston with a 1-0 lead.

Castro repeated his success in the third inning, this time smoking a double to right field that missed clearing the wall by a couple of feet. Brandon Barnes, who opened the frame with a single and advanced to third base on a steal and throwing error by Chicago catcher Hector Gimenez, scored on Castro's double, putting Houston on top 2-0.

Considering his run of excellence at Minute Maid Park, Astros right-hander Bud Norris appeared to have the cushion he needed. Norris posted a 2.28 ERA over his first eight home starts, and he threw five shutout innings before stumbling in the sixth.

With two outs and Alejandro De Aza aboard following a leadoff single, Norris (5-7) surrendered three consecutive seeing-eye singles, with Paul Konerko driving home De Aza and Conor Gillaspie loading the bases.

On his 24th pitch of the inning, Norris surrendered a bases-clearing triple to Dayan Viciedo, who chased Barnes up Tal's Hill with his drive. Norris went from flirting with a shutout to falling into a 4-2 hole. He lasted six innings, permitting eight hits and four runs while striking out four.

Quintana pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out five.

NOTES: White Sox RHP Jake Peavy, out since June 5 due to a fractured rib, has yet to receive clearance to begin physical activity. He said sneezing and heavy breathing are still causing him discomfort. ... The Astros announced the signing of second-round pick Andrew Thurman, a right-handed pitcher from UC Irvine. Thurman, 21, was selected 40th overall in the draft. He will report to short-season Tri-City of the New York-Penn League on Tuesday.
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