John Danks (1-2, 4.13) vs Lucas Harrell (4-7, 4.52)
A walk-off pickoff! Once again, we'll take those wins any way we can get them. A 4-1 Astros lead through six was challenged in each of the final three innings, but the bullpen this time made Lucas Harrell's solid start stand up. Astros beat the White Sox 4-3, running their win streak to three games and improving to 25-44 overall.
On the Mound:
*Lucas Harrell was almost perfect in the 2nd through 6th, facing the minimum, and was somewhat less perfect in the 1st and 7th, but it was still good enough for his third straight quality start in June. His line: 6.2 IP / 7 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 1 BB / 7 K.
*Paul Clemens got the final out of the 7th, then allowed a double and got a K in the 8th.
*Wesley Wright got a ground out and issued an IBB to Paul Konerko, continuing the 8th.
*Then Hector Ambriz got the third out of the 8th on a Jeff Keppinger ground out.
*Jose Veras allowed a leadoff walk to Dayan Viciedo in the 9th, and pinch-runner Jordan Danks stole second to put the tying run in scoring position with no outs. But Veras fanned the next two hitters, then picked Danks off second for the final out of the game, nailing down save #13.
At the Plate:
*The Astros only had one hit more tonight (6) than they did on Friday (5), but the quality of the hits was rather much better - 5 of 6 tonight were for extra bases, versus just five singles the day before.
*Matt Dominguez was the only multi-hit man, going 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored.
*Jason Castro ended Houston's week-long power outage with a solo HR (9) into the Astros' bullpen in the 4th. He finished 1 for 4 with 2 K.
*cHRis Carter saw Castro's homer, and raised him a behemoth solo blast over the train tracks in left two batters later, for his team-leading 14th. He ended up 1 for 3 with a K.
*Ronny Cedeno had a RBI double and finished 1 for 3.
*Brandon Barnes did likewise, with a RBI double of his own to finish 1 for 4 with a K.
*Carlos Pena was 0 for 1 with a walk, but scored on Cedeno's double after reaching on a HBP.
Houston scored the winning run in the 5th, but the game was won in the 7th through 9th as their lead was challenged and upheld. Adam Dunn led off the 7th with a solo HR against Harrell, cutting the lead from 4-1 to 4-2. Harrell got Paul Konerko to pop up for out #1, then Conor Gillaspie singled to right, and Trevor Crowe muffed the play, allowing Gillaspie to move up to second. Dayan Viciedo next grounded to short, with what could have been an inning-ending double play had Gillaspie been on first, but instead Gillaspie advanced to third on the fielder's choice for out #2. A ground-rule double by Gordon Beckham made it 4-3, then an infield single by Tyler Flowers moved Beckham up to third, chasing Harrell from the game. (Not Roger) Clemens came to the rescue and got Alejandro De Aza to fan on three pitches, preserving the win for Harrell and Houston.
Man of the Match:
Lucas Harrell. Pitched most of the game from his rocking chair tonight.
Goat of the Game:
Trevor Crowe. 0 for 3 with a K, 2 LOBsters, and a fielding error in the 7th.