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Nova deals a gem in 4-1 victory; Sox earn doubleheader split

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Nova has thrown 17 innings over his past two outings...

MLB: Game Two-Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox
Tip Your Hat: Ivan Nova has looked great over his past few starts and continued that trend tonight.
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The nightcap of the Chicago White Sox’s doubleheader against the Houston Astros got off to a rather strange start.

Gerrit Cole was slated to get the start for the Astros but did not run out of the dugout in the first inning.

Instead, it was relief pitcher Chris Devenski who took the mound for the Astros. What happened to Cole?

Turns out the possible future White Sox starting pitcher got scratched due to right hamstring discomfort.

The Sox certainly took advantage early. The South Siders struck first in the second inning on who other than Adam Engel’s RBI single to left field. Two batters later, Ryan Goins knocked in two on a single of his own.

Goins has been a bit of an adventure at third base, but he has certainly deserved all the playing time he has received. Goins is hitting .298 with an .850 OPS. That will certainly play for a player just promoted from Charlotte. It’s at least watchable.

The Sox added their fourth run on a Ryan Cordell RBI double in the fourth inning.

On the mound, Ivan Nova was marvelous. The righthander went the full nine innings, giving up no earned runs on four hits. He recorded just three strikeouts — not something you see too often in modern baseball. It is his second complete game in a month.

Nova allowed an unearned run because of Tim Anderson’s throwing error in the third inning, but that was it. Nova lowered his ERA all the way down to 4.51, which is truly amazing form where he was a month ago.

Nova induced a lot of soft contact and early swings from Astros’ hitters (a generous gift to all the journalists covering a doubleheader like this).

George Springer was the only Astro to really figure out Nova. Springer had two hits and was the only hitter to have multiple hits against Nova. The righty retired 16 batters in a row at a point in the game and was in control from the start. Props, Ivan!

Overall, a nice way to end a long day for the White Sox. The Astros looked rather disinterested, but the Sox took advantage and earned a well-deserved victory to split the doubleheader.

The Sox will try to take the series tomorrow afternoon with Ross Detwiler facing Wade Miley.