Astros 4, White Sox 3

MoiseKapenda Bower, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- For a second consecutive game, the Houston bullpen protected a one-run lead and put the finishing touches on a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.
Astros closer Jose Veras posted his 13th save with a scoreless ninth inning, completing the handiwork of Paul Clemens, Wesley Wright and Hector Ambriz in support of right-hander Lucas Harrell (5-7).
On Friday night, Veras, Jose Cisnero and Travis Blackley closed out a 2-1 Houston win.
The Astros (25-44) logged their third consecutive come-from-behind victory and Chicago (28-37) lost for the 11th time in 12 road games.
Harrell entered his third start of the month amid a torrid stretch, having allowed just one earned run in 14 innings in June. But the White Sox struck for a run in the first inning when Alexi Ramirez singled, stole second base and scored when Paul Konerko laced a two-out single to center field.
Harrell quickly recovered, retiring 11 consecutive batters after an inning-ending flyout by Connor Gillaspie in the first.
When Gordon Beckham broke through in the fifth against Harrell for a one-out single, the Astros starter responded by getting Tyler Flowers to roll into a double play.
Harrell retired the side in order in the sixth before faltering in the seventh, starting with an opposite-field home run to left by Adam Dunn, his 18th homer of the season. Gillaspie added a single and Beckham a two-out, RBI double before Flowers chased Harrell with an infield single. Right-hander Paul Clemens came in to strike out Alejandro De Aza and preserve the Astros' 4-3 lead.
Aggressive base running and flashes of power enabled the Astros to build a three-run lead, with Carlos Pena and Matt Dominguez both scoring from first base on doubles from Ronny Cedeno and Brandon Barnes in the second and fifth, respectively.
In the fourth, Houston catcher Jason Castro belted his first career home run against a left-handed pitcher, taking Chicago starter John Danks into the home bullpen in right-center field. Chris Carter followed two batters later with his 14th homer, a blast down the left-field line for a 3-1 lead.
NOTES: With his ninth home run of the season, Castro eclipsed his career total of eight homers. Also, the homer was the first of his career against a left-handed pitcher. ... The White Sox posted their ninth game of two or more errors on Friday night, and their .981 fielding percentage entering Saturday ranked 13th in the American League. Last season. Chicago led the majors with a franchise-best .988 fielding percentage.

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