Astros-White Sox Preview

The Associated Press

The Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox haven't met since 2007, though the clubs will be seeing plenty of each other due to Houston's pending shift to the AL next season.

The Astros hope to avoid a seventh straight road loss while the White Sox look to build off a come-from-behind victory when the teams begin their last interleague series against each other Friday night.

Meetings will become more regular beginning in 2013, when Houston moves from the NL Central to the AL West in order to balance the two leagues.

The Astros won two of three over the White Sox from June 8-10, 2007, the last time the clubs met, though their most memorable interleague series came in 2005, when Chicago swept Houston in the World Series to win its first title since 1917.

Wandy Rodriguez is Houston's last remaining member of that NL championship team - he made two relief appearances in the World Series, taking the loss in Game 1 - and he'll be on the mound Friday looking to bounce back from a pair of rough outings.

Rodriguez (4-4, 3.14 ERA) has seen his ERA increase a full run over his last two starts despite not earning a decision in either contest. He allowed seven runs - four earned - in five innings of Houston's 9-7 loss to Colorado on May 28, then gave up nine runs - seven earned - over five frames of a 12-9 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday.

Rodriguez yielded five runs in five innings of a 6-3 loss June 10, 2007, in his only career start against the White Sox for the Astros (24-33), who have dropped 10 of 12 following Thursday's 14-2 loss to St. Louis.

After using five pitchers, manager Brad Mills had outfielder Brian Bogusevic pitch the ninth inning and moved third basemen Chris Johnson to right field.

''It's something that is probably the last thing that a manager likes to have to go through, but to put that together to get through it, that's what we had to do,'' Mills said.

Chicago had lost three of four prior to Thursday's 4-3 victory over Toronto, winning on Orlando Hudson's run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth.

Alex Rios added an RBI single and a two-run homer that tied the game in the sixth, helping the AL Central-leading White Sox (32-25) improve to 15-4 in their last 19.

''He's been playing great,'' manager Robin Ventura said of Rios, who is hitting .356 with five homers over his last 14 games. "He feels confident and we wouldn't be in this situation without him, either.''

Chicago hopes Gavin Floyd can snap out of his recent funk Friday.

Floyd (4-5, 5.32) hasn't pitched well in his last four starts, going 1-2 with an 11.90 ERA with opponents hitting .407 against him. He allowed five runs in five innings of Saturday's 10-8, 10-inning loss to Seattle that ended Chicago's nine-game winning streak.

The right-hander had a 2.53 ERA prior to his rough stretch.

"I've got to get back to getting down in the zone and getting ahead (in the count)," Floyd told the team's official website.

Astros first baseman Carlos Lee, who hit 152 homers for the White Sox from 1999-2004, is 2 for 12 in three career games versus his former team.

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