Eric Christian Smith
July 02, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) Chris Sale wasn't patting himself on the back on the day he became this season's first 14-game winner.

''To be honest I probably had the least to do with this win today,'' Sale said.

Dioner Navarro drove in a season-high four runs, Sale settled down after a shaky start to pitch seven-plus innings and the Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros 7-6 on Saturday.

Sale (14-2) allowed four runs in the first three innings before settling in to yield just two hits and an unearned run the rest of the way. He allowed six hits and tied a season high by fanning nine.

He said the key to locking in after his early struggles on Saturday was simple.

''Just trying to pull my weight,'' he said. ''My guys picked me up right from the start. So I felt like it was my time to give them some support back. It was a grind from the get-go. My guys pulled me out and we got ourselves a win.''

He became the first AL-pitcher to get 14 wins before the All-Star break since David Wells went 15-2 in 2000.

Navarro drove in a pair with a triple in the second inning to put Chicago up 2-1. The White Sox were trailing in the fifth when his two-run single made it 5-4.

J.B. Shuck hit a solo homer in the fourth and had an RBI triple in Chicago's two-run eighth inning.

Rookie A.J. Reed hit his first career homer off David Robertson to make it 7-6 with two outs in the ninth before Robertson struck out Colby Rasmus for his 22nd save.

Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs for the Astros, who had a five-game winning streak snapped.

Houston starter Doug Fister (8-4) allowed nine hits and five runs while walking five in 4 2/3 innings for his second straight loss.

''He ran into a couple of things. He had a high pitch count early,'' manager A.J. Hinch said. ''They made him work. He wasn't very sharp. The five walks hurt him and the home run.''

Altuve gave Houston a 1-0 lead with his home run to the seats in right field with two outs in the first.

Chicago took the lead with Navarro's one-out triple. Avisail Garcia walked after that, but Navarro was tagged out at home on a fielder's choice before Fister retired Tim Anderson to limit the damage.

The White Sox had a chance to pad their lead in the third, but Adam Eaton couldn't beat the throw home on a two-out single by Brett Lawrie. Eaton leaped over the head of catcher Evan Gattis on the play, but Gattis was still able to apply the tag.

Danny Worth drew a walk to start Houston's third before a bunt single by Jake Marisnick. Houston tied it at 2-2 when Worth scored on a sacrifice bunt by Marwin Gonzalez and took the lead on an RBI single by Altuve.

After a short coaching visit to the mound, Carlos Correa pushed the lead to 4-2 on a run-scoring single.

Sale settled down after that, retiring 13 of the next 14 batters he faced, until George Springer singled to start the eighth. Gonzalez reached on an error by Todd Frazier after that to end Sale's day.

''He just finds a way to finally find a groove,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ''Once he got the lead you just knew he was going to be able to extend it and get through it.''

Sale, who tossed a complete game against Houston on May 19, improved to 5-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 65 strikeouts in six career starts against the Astros.

Shuck's two-out home run to the seats in right field got Chicago within 4-3 in the fourth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: OF Melky Cabrera is expected to return Monday after missing the last four games with a sprained right wrist. Cabrera first injured his wrist on June 18 and aggravated it on Tuesday when he ran into the wall chasing down a fly ball.

Astros: RHP Lance McCullers will start for Houston on Monday after missing his last start with a blister on his right index finger.

UP NEXT

White Sox: Jose Quintana (5-3, 3.18) will start for Chicago on Sunday. Quintana looks to get back on track after going 0-7 with a 4.58 ERA in his last nine starts.

Astros: Collin McHugh (5-5, 4.58) is scheduled to pitch for Houston on Sunday. McHugh is searching for his first win since May 30 after getting one loss and four no-decisions in his last five starts.

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