Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox
When and Where: Monday, Aug. 12, Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Ill., 8:10 p.m. EDT.
With the nervousness of pitching for a new team out of the way, Zack Greinke looks to be more effective Monday night when he makes his second start for the Houston Astros as they begin a three-game series with the offensively challenged Chicago White Sox.
Greinke looks to make it 2-0 with Astros
Greinke (1-0, 7.50 ERA) cruised through his first three innings in his debut with the Astros, then ran into trouble in the fourth and sixth innings. In the latter, he gave up a three-run homer, and finished with five runs allowed in six innings.
Zack Greinke 1st K on the Astros. pic.twitter.com/HN3o4ILyfP
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 7, 2019
Though the five runs matched the combined total he yielded in his final three starts with Arizona, the Astros nearly matched the eight runs of support he got in those no-decisions by plating seven for him en route to an 11-6 victory Tuesday night.
“I was telling [catcher Martin Maldonado] that it kind of reminds me when I was back in Milwaukee and it seemed like we scored, like, 10 runs a game,” Greinke told Houston’s official website. “It’s a good offense, and it’s fun to pitch with that going on.”
The right-hander has faced the White Sox just once in the last seven seasons, coming one out shy of a complete game while striking out 12 in a 5-1 victory in May 2017. Greinke, though, has seen plenty of Chicago pitching as a former division rival with Kansas City and is 8-10 with a 4.17 ERA in 24 career starts.
The South Side of Chicago, though, was not kind to him as he enters this game 2-7 with a 6.16 ERA in 10 starts there. Greinke lost his first six road starts against the White Sox and is facing them on the road for the first time since 2012.
The Astros had their eight-game winning streak snapped with an 8-7 defeat at Baltimore on Sunday. Houston nearly completed a sweep of the Orioles after rallying with three ninth-inning runs, but closer Roberto Osuna served up a two-run walkoff homer in blowing his fifth save in 31 opportunities.
Yordan Alvarez, who followed up his three-homer game Saturday by going 2 for 5, is 17 for 37 (.459) with five homers and three doubles during a nine-game hitting streak. Alvarez has six multihit games and 17 homers in 46 games since being promoted.
Pale Hose look to spark listless offense
The White Sox suffered a pair of shutout defeats in dropping a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics after losing Sunday’s rubber match 2-0. It was the fourth time in 11 games Chicago was blanked at home, and Rick Renteria’s team has played only 18 runs in those contests.
— Daily Herald (@dailyherald) August 11, 2019
Dylan Cease (2-4, 6.00) hopes the offense perks up as the rookie tries to win back-to-back starts for the first time. The right-hander snapped a four-start losing streak Tuesday night in Detroit, holding the Tigers to two runs in five innings of a 5-3 victory.
Cease also got four runs of support, which was like an offensive outburst considering the White Sox provided him with only two in his four losses — and failed to score for him in three of those outings.
“It seems as the way it’s going, early in the game I kind of feel my way through it a little bit,” Cease told the club’s official website. “Then I get locked in and I start being a little more aggressive. (Renteria) was just talking about having that intent from the beginning, just trusting it from the beginning.”
The next challenge for the 23-year-old is to beat someone other than the worst team in the majors as both his wins have come against Detroit. Cease is 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA in three home starts and facing the Astros for the first time.
The Astros are:
- 6-1 in their last seven road games vs. right-handed starters.
- 47-14 in their last 61 games vs. sub-.500 teams.
- 38-13 in their last 51 during game 1 of a series.
The White Sox are:
- 1-5 in their last six home games.
- 17-35 in their last 52 games vs. AL West teams.
- 2-9 in their last 11 games vs. the Astros.