Astros seek emphatic sweep of White Sox

By Jeff Arnold, The Sports Xchange
Josh Reddick and the Houston Astros look to sweep the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. Photo by Lori Shepler/UPI
Josh Reddick and the Houston Astros look to sweep the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. Photo by Lori Shepler/UPI | License Photo

CHICAGO -- There was a time not that long ago when Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch was concerned about how much offensive support his starting pitchers were receiving.

At least of late, that hasn't been an issue.


After scoring 20 runs over the past two games against the Chicago White Sox, the Astros will attempt to sweep the White Sox on Sunday, when they can extend their winning streak to six games.

Josh Reddick sparked Houston's 10-1 victory on Saturday when he hit a pair of home runs including a second-inning grand slam, finishing off the win with five RBIs and hit his team-best fifth and sixth home runs of the season.

"We're a good team, we're a good lineup," Reddick told reporters after Saturday's victory, according to "We weren't going to struggle very long and with the way our (pitching) staff has been starting games, it's been a whole lot easier to focus on getting our at-bats right and the way we need to go about things. If those guys keep doing it like that, it's going to make our job a lot easier -- not only on defense but to be able to focus on our at-bats."


Lance McCullers, Jr. (2-1, 5.57 ERA) hopes to become the next Houston starter to take advantage of the Astros' recent offensive explosion. During Houston's five-game winning streak, the Astros have outscored their opponents 40-5. McCullers is coming off an impressive outing in which he allowed one hit and struck out 11 over seven innings against the Seattle Mariners. McCullers is 0-1 in two career starts against the White Sox with a 3.18 ERA.

The White Sox continued to skid and lost their sixth straight game on Saturday. As difficult as this month has been, the White Sox -- who are 2-13 in their last 15 games and have been outscored 50-15 in their past five -- are now dealing with the news that relief pitcher Danny Farquhar suffered a brain hemorrhage during the sixth inning of Friday's 10-0 loss.

Farquhar collapsed in the White Sox dugout and underwent medical testing that showed that a revealed aneurysm caused the brain bleed, the team announced on Saturday. Farquar is stable but remains in critical condition, which left his teammates with heavy hearts Saturday.

"It crushes us in this clubhouse, and nothing really matters baseball-wise when something like that happens," White Sox starter James Shields told the Chicago Tribune. "When you see one of your brothers go down like that, it's not very fun to watch. He's such a resilient human being and we're praying for him."


White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper reiterated how difficult Saturday's news was to digest.

"He's alive, he's got a chance and that's what I'm hanging on to," Cooper told reporters. "And prayers are more necessary than talk."

Reynaldo Lopez (0-2, 1.42) will make his fourth start and is still looking for his first win of the season. Lopez has pitched at least six innings in each of his outings and will make his first career start against the Astros.

Meanwhile, the Astros are also finding themselves impacted by Farquhar's condition.

"It was a scary incident last night," Hinch told reporters Saturday. "We could see across the way something was going on. ... and then as the group went around him, it just became a scary scene. Then word trickles back, and then this morning getting that update is very scary."

Latest Headlines