CHICAGO (AP) — After the second inning, the Houston Astros’ offense took another break.
Tyler Flowers drove in the go-ahead run with a seventh-inning double, and four Chicago pitchers retired the final 22 batters to lift the White Sox to a 3-2 victory over the Astros on Friday night.
All-Star Jose Altuve got the last hit for the Astros in the second inning in their first game following the four-day, All-Star break.
“We struck out 14 times. Offensively it is tough when you don’t make the other team defend the baseball,” Houston manager Bo Porter said. “We had some hittable pitches early in the zone, and I think if we really put better swings on those pitches we wouldn’t have been in a position where we were hitting with two strikes.”
Alejandro De Aza singled off Scott Feldman and stole second before Flowers delivered the game-winning hit. He entered the game with only 12 hits in his last 116 at-bats, and a .218 batting average overall.
“It was good timing. I’ve been feeling good for the last 10 games,” Flowers said. “Really haven’t had a whole lot of success statistically but definitely feeling a lot better, seeing the ball better.
“It was nice to kind of see a lot of work we’ve been doing pay dividends, especially in a situation like that.”
Daniel Webb (5-2) retired the six batters he faced in relief of Jose Quintana to earn the victory. Zach Putnam pitched a scoreless inning for his second save of the season.
“Webb coming in there blowing some heat. With that kind of arm it forces the hitters to be ready and get a little more aggressive,” Flowers said. “I think he set the stage for us as far as getting their hitters to put the ball in play a little bit earlier.
“We were able to get them to chase a couple more borderline pitches, velocity does that for you. Belisario came in with the good sinker, spotting up well. and Putnam did a pretty good job too.”
After Quintana allowed a pair of unearned runs, he set down his final 10 batters. The left-hander allowed three hits and two walks in five innings.
Feldman (4-7) took a four-hit shutout into the sixth inning, when Dayan Viciedo hit a two-run homer into the left-center field bleachers to tie it. Just three batters earlier, Feldman was struck on the backside by a smash off the bat of Alexei Ramirez.
“I just hung a curveball there and Viciedo didn’t miss and put a good swing on it,” Feldman said. “I think more times than not, if you go deep in the game like that our guys will come out on top.”
Feldman allowed three runs, seven hits and three walks in seven innings.
“I think if you want to sit down and break down your outing it’s never perfect,” he said. “I had my share of ones like tonight where I sort of got beat on one particularly bad pitch, where I hung a curveball.”
Aided by a two-base error, Houston took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. After Jon Singleton’s single eluded Viciedo in right field, Matt Dominguez scored from first base while Singleton continued to third. Robbie Grossman followed with an RBI groundout.
Adam Eaton tripled, and Jose Abreu doubled in the first inning, but Chicago failed to take an early lead. Grossman threw out Eaton at the plate on a shallow fly ball to right field, a call upheld by video replay after a White Sox challenge.
NOTES: Newest Chicago Bulls members Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic threw out first pitches. … White Sox LHP Chris Sale will make his first post-All-Star break appearance either Monday or Tuesday, which will give him at least 12 days of rest between starts. He pitched an inning in the All-Star game on Tuesday night. … After a week of instruction and workouts in Arizona, White Sox first-round draft pick Carlos Rodon will begin his professional career at high Class A Winston-Salem later this month. … The White Sox signed 31 of their 32 draft picks. The Astros came to terms with 26 of 31. … The Astros recalled RHP Jake Buchanan from Oklahoma City earlier Friday. RHP David Martinez was optioned to the Triple-A club.