Abreu, Rodon power White Sox past slumping Astros 4-2
CHICAGO (AP) With each start, Carlos Rodon takes another step forward. Tuesday was no different.
Rodon threw six scoreless innings, Jose Abreu hit a tie-breaking two-run homer, and the Chicago White Sox beat Houston 4-2 to hand the Astros their sixth straight loss despite top draft pick Carlos Correa hitting his first home run.
Rodon (2-0) allowed four hits and two walks while striking out five and throwing a career-high 116 pitches. It was the fourth consecutive start of at least six innings while allowing one earned run or fewer for Chicago's top pick in the 2014 draft.
''Definitely a high pitch count but he battled,'' Chicago manager Robin Ventura said.
''Yeah, that was huge letting me go a couple extra pitches there,'' Rodon said.
Abreu's 10th home run of the season broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth and propelled Chicago to its second win to start the three-game series with the AL West-leading Astros. The reigning AL rookie of the year hadn't homered since June 3 but his line drive over the fence in right-center field off Dallas Keuchel gave Chicago the lead.
That homer and Melky Cabrera's two-run double in the eighth were enough for the White Sox to continue the Astros' slide. During their losing streak, the Astros have been held to two runs or fewer five times.
Chicago led 4-0 in the ninth before Chris Carter doubled to start the inning when the White Sox couldn't catch his high popup in short right field. Correa, who was 2 for 4, then took a Zach Duke pitch into the left-field bleachers to cut the White Sox lead in half.
''It's always good to get that first one,'' Correa said. ''I wish we could have won the game, but we battled back and tried to come back in that game.''
David Robertson replaced Duke and picked up his 12th save in 15 tries. With a runner on second and two outs, George Springer lined out to right to end the game, one pitch after he had flipped his bat away and started to first thinking he had walked. After his ball was caught by Avisail Garcia, Springer threw down his helmet and appeared to be pointing and yelling at home-plate umpire Larry Vanover from near first base.
''Emotions run high and these are important games and our guys are fighting,'' Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
Keuchel (7-2) went seven innings and allowed two runs and seven hits while striking out five and walking two. Keuchel also went at least six innings for his 24th consecutive start but still lost his second decision in his last three.
Rodon, meanwhile, showed more growth.
''He kept his composure,'' Ventura said. ''He got into some tough spots and worked his way out of it.''
Astros: OF Preston Tucker returned to the lineup after he was given a 48-hour rest period to work on his hitting approach during Houston's final two games against Toronto over the weekend. Tucker then missed the series opener Monday because LHP Chris Sale was pitching.
White Sox: Abreu said through a translator he's been doing endurance training all season, and getting results. ''Yes, I feel very good, very strong,'' Abreu said.
Astros RHP Vincent Velasquez faces Chicago LHP Jose Quintana (2-6, 4.28). Velasquez will be making his major-league debut after going 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA at Double-A Corpus Christi.