Friday, May 16, 2014
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Preview: White Sox At Astros

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[May 16, 2014]  The Houston Astros haven't won three straight since last September, but they can change that with a series-opening victory over the visiting Chicago White Sox on Friday. Houston carries the worst record in the American League into the three-game set but has won two straight and three of its last four.

The White Sox have slipped to last place in the AL Central but snapped a four-game skid with Wednesday's 4-2 win at Oakland.

The White Sox hope to provide better offensive support for left-hander Jose Quintana they have not scored more than four runs in any of his last six starts. The catalyst for Chicago's offense is slugging rookie first baseman Jose Abreu, who leads the majors with 15 home runs and tops the AL with 41 RBIs. The Astros have been consistent at the plate recently, totaling 11 hits in five straight games, though they were shut out in one of those contests.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, CSN (Chicago, Houston)

PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox LH Jose Quintana (1-3, 3.67 ERA) vs. Astros RH Collin McHugh (2-1, 2.81)

Quintana has recorded quality starts in seven of his eight outings this season but is winless in his last six. He was tagged with a tough-luck loss last time out, giving up three runs over six innings in a 4-3 loss to Arizona. The 25-year-old Colombian has a 3.65 ERA in two starts against Houston but did not factor in the decision in either.

After brief and unsuccessful stints in the majors the past two seasons, McHugh has been a pleasant surprise for the Astros. He had one rocky outing against Seattle but rebounded last time out, holding Baltimore to two runs over 6 1/3 innings in a no-decision. The 26-year-old has never faced the White Sox.

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1. Chicago 2B Gordon Beckham has gone 15-for-43 with three homers over his past 10 games, raising his average from .167 to .266.

2. Astros 2B Jose Altuve is hitting .419 during a seven-game hitting streak and has recorded multiple hits in four of his past five contests.

3. White Sox CF Adam Eaton (hamstring) is expected to rejoin the team Sunday after a rehab stint at Triple-A Charlotte.

PREDICTION: White Sox 4, Astros 3

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