The Houston Astros will try to stay perfect against the host Chicago White Sox when they square off in the second installment of a three-game series Saturday night in Chicago.
Houston is coming off a 7-1 victory in Friday’s series opener, which boosted the Astros’ record against the White Sox to 5-0 this season. Houston has outscored Chicago 34-9.
The lopsided losses aren’t normal this season for Chicago, which sits comfortably in first place in the American League Central. The White Sox are 54-31 against teams not named the Astros.
“They exposed us a little bit,” White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson said about the Astros, who swept a four-game series against Chicago in June. “Sometimes it’s good to be exposed. You don’t know how worse you can be; you try to be better. We have a better game plan. We’ll go out and play hard and see what happens.
“Everybody’s human. They strap it on like we strap it on. There is nothing special about any team that comes in to play us.”
The Astros will call on right-hander Jake Odorizzi (3-4, 3.61 ERA) to try to beat Chicago again. The 31-year-old has won three of his past four decisions but is coming off a hard-luck loss in which he gave up two runs on seven hits in six innings against the New York Yankees on July 9.
Odorizzi, a native of Breese, Ill., has faced the White Sox 11 times in his career. He is 3-4 with a 3.15 ERA and has walked 16 and struck out 77 in 60 innings.
Chicago will counter with right-hander Lucas Giolito (7-6, 4.15), who is set to make his 19th start of the season. He is looking for his second straight victory after limiting the Baltimore Orioles to two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings on July 10.
“I’m kind of grinding through it,” Giolito said when asked about his first half of the season. “Not ideal, not pitching as dominantly as I would like, knowing my ability, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
In four career starts against the Astros, Giolito is 1-3 with a 4.68 ERA. He has walked 12 and struck out 16 in 25 innings.
This will be Giolito’s first start against Houston since May 23, 2019, when he pitched a complete-game shutout while giving up four hits, walking one and striking out nine.
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa will be available for the second straight game after he was activated Friday. He had been on the team’s COVID-19 injured list.
“Sometimes you don’t realize what you have until he’s gone,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “We’re happy to have him back. He’s in the middle of the lineup. You miss him at shortstop (when he is out). I mean, this guy’s a heck of a player, and sometimes you just take it for granted until they’re gone.”
Chicago is 31-15 at home this season; Houston is 27-17 on the road.
–Field Level Media