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Gattis carries Astros over White Sox in return

May 18, 2016

CHICAGO -- Evan Gattis launched a two-strike, two-out Matt Albers sinker into the left-field stands for his second home run of the season, giving Houston a 6-5 victory over the White Sox in 11 innings on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. George Springer, who singled with one out, scored

CHICAGO -- Evan Gattis launched a two-strike, two-out Matt Albers sinker into the left-field stands for his second home run of the season, giving Houston a 6-5 victory over the White Sox in 11 innings on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. George Springer, who singled with one out, scored ahead of Gattis, and the White Sox lost for the third straight time and the fifth time in six games.
"It's nice to walk out of these with a win," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We played pretty well. ... They never went away. That's typical of how they played this year, but these close games are much more favorable when they go your way."
Adam Eaton doubled home a run with two outs in the bottom of the 11th, but Tony Sipp struck out Alex Avila on a 3-2 pitch to end the contest. Five of the Astros' last six games have been decided by one run or in extra innings; the White Sox last five losses have been by one or two runs.
"Close game, we just lost," said White Sox starter Carlos Rodon, who finished with a no-decision. "We battled back, played hard. Played hard every second out there. This team is good. We'll pick up from this."
No absence of fight in struggling White Sox
Houston held a one-run lead when Austin Jackson opened the ninth with a double to right-center off Luke Gregerson, who blew his third save in his past four chances. Jackson moved to third on Carlos Sanchez's attempted sacrifice, which turned into a hit when nobody covered first. Tyler Saladino drove home the game-tying run with a sacrifice fly to center. The Astros had taken the one-run lead in the eighth on Jose Altuve's sacrifice fly.
"Overall, I felt really good, command-wise," Keuchel said. "Before that seventh inning, got a little tired. It was a little cold. Had a long layover in the bottom of the sixth, top of the seventh."
Two-out magic: Keuchel retired Brett Lawrie and Jackson to open the fifth but didn't get the third out until five batters later. Navarro and Saladino doubled, Eaton and Rollins singled, and the White Sox scored two to take a 3-2 lead.

White hot: Rookie first baseman Tyler White homered in consecutive at-bats in the fourth and sixth innings and doubled in the eighth for his first three-hit game since April 7-8. Since those back-to-back three-hit games, he was hitting .190 entering Tuesday. His two RBIs on the solo homers matched his total in May going into the game.
"White had a great night," Hinch said. "It's nice to see him get some hits. The two-strike home runs were important. The leadoff double was very key for us, and it's nice to see him not try to do too much." More >

Pitching around mistakes: The usually sure-handed Jackson dropped a Carlos Correa line drive with two outs in the fifth to extend the inning and put runners on first and third against Rodon. Gattis was issued an intentional walk to load the bases, but Colby Rasmus popped out to Saladino to end the frame. Saladino made a nice running catch in foul territory with his back to the infield. Duke pitched out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the seventh, as Rollins threw out Marwin Gonzalez on a slow roller to shortstop.

Giles finds groove: Giles, whose early struggles forced him into mop-up duty for a time, had perhaps his best outing of the season, and it came with the bases loaded, no less. Giles struck out Rollins and Abreu in the seventh with the bases loaded for his seventh scoreless outing in his last eight appearances.
"I can't put him in any [more of a] high-leverage situation than bases loaded against their two- and three-hole hitters," Hinch said. "I've never lost faith in him. Some of his situations have been different over the last week and a half, two weeks or so, but we're not in a situation we can soften many entrances." More >

"If this doesn't prove tonight that I'm willing to use him with the game on the line, then I don't know another situation that's tougher." -- Hinch, on Giles

"We're a different lineup. [Todd] Frazier not in there was a little different. But guys are still battling and getting through it. We still had a chance there to tie it up or win it with the last hitter. You're pleased with the effort, that's never been a question." -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura, whose team played without Frazier, who was sick
White Sox setup man Nate Jones exited in the seventh inning after taking a Correa line drive off the inside of his left foot. Jones recovered to make the play and throw out Correa at first, but after talking with head athletic trainer Herm Schneider and manager Robin Ventura, he was replaced by Zach Duke. Jones suffered a bruised left foot; X-rays were negative, and he is day to day.

Astros:Doug Fister (3-3, 3.09 ERA) will vie for his sixth consecutive quality start when the Astros face the White Sox in Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. CT game at U.S. Cellular Field. Fister has gone 2-2 with a 3.09 ERA in his last five starts. Newcomers Colin Moran and Tony Kemp are expected to get their first Major League starts.
White Sox:Mat Latos (5-0, 3.40 ERA) is set to make his eighth start of the season and fourth at U.S. Cellular Field. He is 1-0 with a 7.63 ERA over his last three starts after going 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA in his first four.
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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.