Runs could be tough to come by for the offensively challenged Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros with their respective top young hurlers set to pitch in the series finale.
Chris Sale will attempt to lead the White Sox to their 10th win in 12 games Wednesday night when he opposes Jarred Cosart and the visiting Astros.
Jordan Danks finished with three hits - including a go-ahead two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning - as Chicago rallied to defeat Houston 4-3 on Tuesday.
"Obviously we haven't done it the whole year but we know this is how we can play and we're very excited about it," said Danks, who is 11 for 22 in his last seven home games.
While they rank last in the AL with 496 runs and near the bottom with 120 home runs, the last-place White Sox (55-76) have shown improvement by averaging 4.9 runs with 13 homers during this 9-2 stretch.
Recent acquisition Avisail Garcia has collected two hits in each of the first two games of this series and is batting .370 in his last 14 overall.
Another solid performance at the plate would certainly help the 24-year-old Sale (9-12, 3.08 ERA) get back in the win column.
After posting a 1.93 ERA while winning his previous three starts, the left-hander gave up a career-worst four homers and matched a career high by allowing eight runs over seven innings in an 11-5 loss to Texas on Friday.
"When you don't do your best and quite honestly get your rear end kicked around for seven innings you're going to get frustrated and I was,' said Sale, who was shown slamming his glove down repeatedly following the seventh.
The All-Star might be able to bounce back against a Houston team that ranks near the bottom of the AL with a .240 batting average.
He hasn't allowed an earned run in two career starts versus the major league-worst Astros (44-87), but suffered a 2-1 loss at Houston on June 14 when he fanned a season-high 14 and gave up two unearned runs over eight innings.
Sale has done a nice job against slugger Chris Carter, who is 0 for 7 with four strikeouts lifetime in their matchups. Carter is batting .357 with four home runs and nine RBIs in 12 career games versus the White Sox.
Teammate Matt Dominguez is 5 for 8 with three RBIs in this series and hitting .400 with five homers and 12 RBIs in his last 16 road games. Rookie Robbie Grossman is batting .365 over a 14-game hitting streak - the longest active run in the majors and tied for third in Astros history by a rookie.
The 23-year-old Cosart (1-1, 1.60), though, has received just 12 runs of support while recording the lowest ERA by an Astros starter through his first seven starts in franchise history.
He'll try to recover from his first defeat after allowing three runs over six innings in a 4-2 loss at Texas on Aug. 20.
"I thought command-wise, it was my best game of the year,' said Cosart, who gave up more than two runs for the first time.
Cosart has held opponents to a .165 batting average in five road outings.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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