White Sox-Astros Preview
Two starting pitchers who haven't had much success lately will try to get back on track Sunday when the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros conclude their three-game series at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Left-hander Jose Quintana (5-8, 3.18 ERA), who will start for Chicago, is looking to halt a nine-start streak without a win. He's 0-7 during those nine starts with a 4.58 ERA. His last victory was May 8 against the Minnesota Twins, when he gave up just one run on six hits.
Houston right-hander Collin McHugh (5-5, 4.58 ERA), meanwhile, is looking for his first win since May 30. He has suffered one loss and four no-decisions in his past five starts.
On Tuesday, Quintana lasted seven innings, giving up four runs, six hits and one walk while striking out eight in a 4-0 loss to the Twins.
One of the problems for Quintana is that he's suddenly giving up home runs. Twins second baseman Brian Dozier hit two against him on Tuesday -- the fifth and sixth homers he has allowed in the past four games. Before that, Quintana was touched for only two homers in his first 12 starts.
But Quintana's record against the Astros could bode well for him Sunday. He is 2-1 with a 2.78 ERA in six career starts against Houston.
McHugh is going through a similar dry spell with only one win in his last nine starts. But McHugh's numbers indicate that he hasn't pitched that badly despite the lack of wins.
The 29-year-old gave up two runs in six innings against the Los Angeles Angels in his last start and has allowed only five runs in his previous three trips to the mound.
McHugh has an 0-2 career record against the White Sox but gave up only two runs in seven innings when he faced them on May 19.
The Astros will be trying to rebound after the White Sox ended Houston's four-game winning streak with a 7-6 victory on Saturday in the middle game of the series. It was only the second loss in the past 13 games for the Astros.
Houston also brings into the rubber match a streak of five consecutive series victories.
Center fielder J.B. Shuck and designated hitter Dioner Navarro played key roles for the White Sox as ace Chris Sale posted his major league-leading 14th victory. Shuck had a home run and triple and Navarro produced a triple and four RBIs.
Second baseman Jose Altuve, named the American League Player of the Month for June, was a key contributor for the Astros with a home run and three RBIs. Shortstop Carlos Correa also has been hot for the Astros, driving in nine runs in the past five games.
The White Sox may get left fielder Melky Cabrera back after he missed the last four games with a sprained right wrist. Before his injury, he was hitting .423 with two doubles, two home runs, six RBIs and four runs scored in his six previous games.