Jake Marisnick snapped an 0-for-22 slump with a leadoff single that ignited a five-run seventh inning as the Houston Astros completed a three-game series sweep of the host Chicago White Sox with a 7-1 victory on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The Astros (16-7) extended their winning streak to six games with their first-ever sweep of the White Sox, who have dropped seven straight. Chicago (4-14) is off to its worst start since 1968.
Marisnick had posted 13 strikeouts in his previous 19 plate appearances before opening the seventh with a soft line drive to center field off White Sox right-hander Aaron Bummer. Bruce Rondon entered in relief of Bummer (0-1) but failed to stem the tide, issuing walks to George Springer and Carlos Correa while allowing run-scoring singles to Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman.
Nate Jones followed Rondon and surrendered a two-run double to Marwin Gonzalez on his first pitch before Evan Gattis added a fielder's choice RBI that plated Bregman and capped the rally. The Astros sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning against the three White Sox right-handers.
The White Sox once again failed to provide run support for right-handed starter Reynaldo Lopez, who allowed one run on four hits and four walks with two strikeouts over five innings. Houston stranded six baserunners through four innings against Lopez, who has received just three runs of support in four starts. Correa pulled Houston even with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Astros right-hander Lance McCullers (3-1) lacked his best stuff yet proved elusive enough to log six innings. McCullers entered leading the majors averaging 14.57 strikeouts per nine innings but finished with just three while allowing eight hits and plunking a pair of batters.
But he limited Chicago to one run and was aided in the third by an outfield assist from Josh Reddick, who erased Yoan Moncada at the plate following a one-out single to right field by Jose Abreu.
Houston outscored the White Sox 27-2 in the weekend series. The Astros rotation surrendered only five earned runs over 47 innings during the seven-game road trip.
--Field Level Media