CHICAGO -- Miguel Gonzalez was brilliant for eight innings as the White Sox beat the Astros, 7-1, on Wednesday night and spoiled George Springer's return from the disabled list to earn the club's first series victory since June 30-July 2. The White Sox have won five of their past six
CHICAGO -- Miguel Gonzalez was brilliant for eight innings as the White Sox beat the Astros, 7-1, on Wednesday night and spoiled George Springer's return from the disabled list to earn the club's first series victory since June 30-July 2. The White Sox have won five of their past six games against Houston and are 10-4 dating back to 2015.
Gonzalez twirled his fourth quality start in his past five outings, rebounding from not getting out of the second inning his last time out by posting the longest outing from a White Sox starter since the All-Star break. He kept the Astros lineup at bay all night, with the lone exception coming on Derek Fisher's homer in the eighth. It marked the third time this season Gonzalez has gone at least eight innings. The Astros -- who still hold a 13-game lead in the American League West -- are 5-9 in their past 14 games, since Springer first was placed on the DL with right quad tightness.
"The results are going to be tough on our guys, but I always like our approach," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "You've got to go up ready to hit, just couldn't get anything to get it started until the end a little bit. All in all, just not a good night."
"I'm more happy with the way the guys are playing," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "We came out on top? Great. We talked about if we go out and get beat, we'll tip our caps. We don't want to beat ourselves. I think the last couple of games we've played pretty good baseball."
The White Sox rocked Astros right-hander Collin McHugh in his fourth start of the season, scoring seven earned runs -- his most allowed since July 29, 2016 -- in 5 1/3 innings to take a commanding 7-0 lead. After botching a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the second inning, the White Sox romped for four runs in the fifth and three in the sixth against McHugh and reliever Francisco Liriano.
Tim Anderson got things going with a two-run blast in the fifth and helped pile on with an RBI double in the sixth as he extended his hitting streak to seven games. Rookies Nicky Delmonico and Yoan Moncada -- the top prospect in baseball according to MLBPipeline.com -- each reached base three times.
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"Wasn't able to stop the bleeding there, which is really unfortunate because I knew their guy was throwing the ball well and our guys were battling and putting good swings," McHugh said. "They just weren't quite falling in for us. As a starting pitcher, you need to be able to keep the game at that part there."
"Definitely our offense, defense, everything was going the way we want it. It was a great game overall," Gonzalez said. "We knew coming in the Astros have a pretty good offensive team. Everything works off your fastball and it was pretty nice to be able to capitalize and do a better job than I did last outing."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Limping away unscathed: McHugh had a painful second inning -- literally -- after a comebacker from Delmonico struck him on the left foot for an infield single to load the bases with no outs. McHugh remained in the game after being checked on by a trainer, and proceeded to strike out Anderson with a breaking ball in the dirt and get a ground-ball double play to get out of the inning.
"Got me a little bit on the instep, little bit on the sole of my foot," McHugh said. "Wasn't a direct blow. Stung a little bit, but didn't really tighten up or anything. It was a big couple plays to get out of that inning and keep it where it was at." More >>
Second chances: Anderson struck out with the bases loaded and no one out in the second, but still managed to put the White Sox on the board first. After Delmonico led off with a single, Anderson drove a McHugh breaking ball -- the same pitch he struck out on -- 381 feet, according to Statcast™, to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead. It also extended a seven-game hitting streak for Anderson, who will pay tribute to a fallen friend with his "B. Moss" jersey on Players Weekend.
"Just really being more relaxed and just letting it happen. It's not like I have to force the issue," Anderson said. "I'm playing like myself."
"It would be bittersweet, for sure. The White Sox gave me another opportunity to come and pitch and be able perform and help out the team win. To leave when you have a lot of guys that are really close to you and to go to a new club is pretty tough. It's not easy, and it's harder for your family. There's a lot going on right on and I'm trying not to think about it. -- Gonzalez, on possibly pitching himself into a waiver trade this month
"He's kind of the definition of a pitcher. He uses all of his stuff, he moves it around. He doesn't miss in the middle. He initiates soft contact. When we did hit the ball hard, they made some good plays. Just a night where he used all of his pitches very effectively." -- Hinch, on Gonzalez
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Alex Bregman tied the Astros' franchise record for the longest streak of games with an extra-base hit (10) with his ninth-inning double off David Holmberg. Richard Hidalgo also went 10 games in a row with an extra-base hit for Houston in 2000.
• Delmonico joined Omar Narvaez in 2016 and Joe Gates in 1978 as the only White Sox players since 1950 to reach base in each of their first eight career Major League games.
• Astros miss on infield popup, get the out anyway
Astros:Brad Peacock (10-1, 3.20 ERA) will take the mound in the finale of a three-game set against the White Sox on Thursday (7:10 p.m. CT). Peacock has been a pleasant surprise after starting the season in the bullpen, even after allowing seven runs in six innings for a win in his last outing.
White Sox:Carlos Rodon (1-4, 4.66) tries to build off his dominant start at Fenway Park in Thursday night's series finale against the Astros with a first pitch of 7:10 CT. Rodon matched a career high with 11 strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings against the Red Sox, giving him 31 strikeouts against five walks over his last 18 1/3 innings. Preview >>
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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago and covered the Astros on Wednesday.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.