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Astros 5, White Sox 0: Unlucky early, thin late

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Four Houston pitchers survive hard contact to combine for five-hitter

Bob Levey/Getty Images

Both the White Sox and Astros hit a number of line drives over the first seven innings, but soft contact off the bat of Carlos Correa ended up changing the complexion of this game.

In the fourth, his backspin-laden jamshot found the infield grass and died, resulting in an RBI infield single that gave the Astros a 1-0 lead. It came one batter after Gonzalez started a 1-6-3 double play off the bat of Jose Altuve, so you'd think he'd deserve better luck.

Leading off the seventh, Tyler Saladino rushed the throw on Correa's chopper to third, Jose Abreu couldn't dig it, and he ended up being a pain in the butt for Miguel Gonzalez. Two batters, a half-dozen pickoff attempts and a mound conference later, Gonzalez threw a fastball on the inner half that resulted in a two-run Carlos Gomez homer that put the game out of reach.

Gonzalez pitched well, allowing just the three runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks over seven innings, but his counterpart, Mike Fiers, and the Houston bullpen engineered a five-hit shutout to take the opener.

This game could've been a slugfest earlier. Avisail Garcia just missed a two-run homer in the second. He settled for a double, and Tyler Saladino flied out to center to strand two. Gonzalez survived hard contact in 1-2-3 second, and Jose Abreu's leadoff double in the fourth was stranded despite three line drives and a walk behind him.

The Astros beat the White Sox with depth, both with the lineup and the bullpen. With a 3-0 lead, the Astros were able to pit their back end of the bullpen against the White Sox' front end. Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson pitched perfect innings to get Houston through eight, and when the Astros tagged Chris Beck for two more runs in the bottom of that inning, they went to Chris Devenski to close it out. He gave up Brett Lawrie's second double of the game and walked Alex Avila, but Garcia bounced into a 5-3 double play to end it.

Record: 40-40 | Box score | Highlights