Gonzalez bounces back to lead White Sox past Astros

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[August 10, 2017]  CHICAGO -- Considering how poorly his last outing went, all Miguel Gonzalez was looking for Wednesday night was to take a step in the right direction.

Dominating the American League's best team certainly got the job done.

Gonzalez took a shutout into the eighth inning, and Tim Anderson homered and drove in three runs as the Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros 7-1.

The White Sox will look to sweep Astros when the three-game series concludes Thursday.

Six days after allowing seven runs in 1 2/3 innings against the Boston Red Sox, Gonzalez (6-10) gave up one run on five hits and struck out four while walking only one in eight innings. He earned his 50th career victory.

"Us as starters have four days to think about what we have to do to get better, and you always have that in back of your mind," Gonzalez said. "But you try to keep it as short as possible and not think about it when you're out there. But it was definitely a good one today."

Derek Fisher got to Gonzalez with a solo home run to lead off the eighth inning.

Anderson sparked the White Sox in the fifth and sixth innings, when Chicago hit Astros starter Colin McHugh (0-1) hard and tallied all of its runs. Anderson's RBI double in the sixth gave the White Sox a 5-0 lead before Leury Garcia followed with a two-run single.

"I'm feeling more like myself," Anderson said.

Staked to a big lead, Gonzalez took care of the rest before David Holmberg pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close out the victory.

"It was a great game overall," Gonzalez said. "We knew coming in (that) the Astros have a pretty good offensive team. Everything works off your fastball, and it was pretty nice to be able to capitalize and do a better job than I did last outing. (I'm) pretty happy with it."

After McHugh had only allowed two hits in the first four innings, Nicky Delmonico singled to lead off the fifth before Anderson followed with his 11th home run of the season to break the scoreless tie.

Omar Narvaez followed with a single before Garcia delivered a one-out, ground-rule double. Yolmer Sanchez's two-run single extended the lead to 4-0 before McHugh got out of the inning with a double play.

Both teams wasted early scoring chances. The Astros had runners on second and third with one out in the second inning, but Gonzalez got Brian McCann to fly out before striking out Fisher.

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White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (7) hits a 2 RBI home run during the fifth inning against the Houston Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

"It was just a night when (Gonzalez) used all of his pitches pretty effectively," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "The (game) results are obviously going to be tough on our guys, but I always like our approach. We've got to go up ready to hit. We just couldn't get anything to get started until the end.

"All in all, just not a good night."

After breaking out for the seven runs, the White Sox not only picked up their second straight win against the Astros, but they recorded their first series victory in nearly six weeks by capturing the first two games.

"I think the last couple of games we've played pretty good baseball," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "When you do that, these guys have had really good approaches at the plate, done some nice things in the field, they're communicating, they're talking. It's a process. I think they're kind of growing into it."

NOTES: Astros CF George Springer returned after missing 13 games with a left quad injury and went 1-for-4 in the leadoff spot. "He's such a stable part of our team in so many ways -- it's nice to have him back," manager A.J. Hinch said. ... Astros 1B Tyler White was sent to Triple-A Fresno to make room for Springer. White hit .310 in nine games with three home runs and nine RBIs. White was optioned over 3B J.D. Davis, who was called up from Fresno on Saturday. ... White Sox RF Avisail Garcia played for a second straight day despite still experiencing some inflammation in his right thumb. Garcia returned Tuesday after missing 12 games with a strained ligament in the thumb. Chicago manager Rick Renteria said Wednesday he would monitor how Garcia's thumb progresses. After going 2-for-5 on Tuesday, Garcia was 0-for-3 on Wednesday.

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