Engel's grab highlights White Sox's win over Astros

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[August 09, 2017]  CHICAGO -- White Sox left-hander Derek Holland described the play as one of the best catches he has seen in his career.

Chicago catcher Kevan Smith felt a rush of adrenaline nearly 400 feet away from behind the plate.

As for White Sox center fielder Adam Engel, whose leaping grab beyond the outfield wall robbed Houston Astros catcher Brian McCann of a fourth-inning home run, everything happened in a blur.

"Honestly, when I went up, it hit me in the glove where balls will kind of squirt out, shoot out of your glove," Engel said. "I came down and I saw (teammate Avisail Garcia's) reaction, and I was like, 'Good, it stayed in my glove.' That was pretty cool."

The White Sox also shined at the plate in an 8-5 victory over the Astros on Tuesday night. Smith doubled, homered and drove in four runs to lead the effort.

Garcia, Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson each added two hits as the White Sox (42-68) matched their highest run total since June 30 while snapping a six-game losing streak.

"Hitting is really contagious," Smith said. "You kind of see whenever a guy proves that they can have a quality at-bat, the next guy can come and have a quality at-bat, and it just trickles down the line."

Alex Bregman hit a three-run triple to lead the Astros. Houston (71-41) lost for the seventh time in 10 games but still owns the best record in the American League.

Holland (6-11) earned his first victory since June 13 despite issuing a season-high seven walks. He allowed three runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings, and he struck out five.

Holland's stat line could have been much uglier if not for Engel's catch. The southpaw lifted his arms and screamed as he watched the rookie outfielder scale the wall for the grab.

"As soon as I gave it up, I thought for sure it was gone," Holland said. "I really thought it was 30 rows deep the way he hit it. For him to make the play he did, that's huge."

Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel (9-2) surrendered eight runs on 10 hits in four innings. He has given up 14 runs in three starts over 12 innings since a stint on the disabled list caused by a neck ailment.

"Not a good night for him from the very beginning," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "They made him work pretty hard to make good pitches, and they put up good at-bats and came through with some really big hits. He had a little trouble executing and got a little bit of bad luck."

Right-hander Tyler Clippard pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his second save of the season and his first with Chicago.

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White Sox starting pitcher Derek Holland (45) throws the ball against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning as Keuchel struggled with his command. Avisail Garcia, Yoan Moncada and Leury Garcia each drove in a run during the outburst, which included four hits and one walk.

Houston evened the score at 3 thanks to Bregman's two-out, bases-loaded triple in the second. Bregman's line drive to right-center field scored Marwin Gonzalez, McCann and Jake Marisnick.

The White Sox battered Keuchel again in the third to regain a 6-3 edge. Smith hit a two-run double down the left field line, and Engel drove in another run with a single to left field.

One inning later, Smith clubbed a two-run homer into the left field bleachers to make it 8-3.

Houston cut the deficit to 8-5 in the seventh behind solo home runs by Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel. Both players went deep off Chicago right-hander Jake Petricka, who relieved Holland.

"They're a good team -- any team in the big leagues is a good team," Bregman said of the White Sox. "You have to bring your 'A' game, and we didn't bring it tonight."

NOTES: Astros OF George Springer took part in a rigorous workout before the game, and he could return from the 10-day disabled list before the end of the series against the White Sox, manager A.J. Hinch said. Springer has been out since July 25 with discomfort in his left quadriceps. ... White Sox OF Avisail Garcia was activated from the 10-day disabled list and went 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs. Garcia missed 12 games because of a strained ligament in his right thumb. ... White Sox 3B/DH Matt Davidson was placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Friday, because of a bruised right wrist. ... Astros SS Alex Bregman notched an extra-base hit for the ninth consecutive game. Bregman moved within one game of the franchise-record streak set by Richard Hidalgo in 2000.

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