Comeback falls short as Sox drop series to Astros

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Comeback falls short as Sox drop series to Astros

Philip Humbers woes continue.

Despite a nine-strikeout performance, Humber surrendered three home runs and couldnt get out of the sixth inning as the Sox fell 11-9 to Houston on Sunday in the series finale at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Sox dropped the three-game series after allowing a season-high 11 runs, including four home runs. Houston hit eight home runs in the series.

Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Orlando Hudson each hit home runs for the Sox, who finished 4-5 on their nine-game homestand. Jose Altuve and Justin Maxwell homered and drove in three runs for the Astros.

Humber pitched 5 13 innings, allowing six hits, five earned runs and two walks. He hasnt won at home in almost a year. His last victory at U.S. Cellular Field came June 12, 2011.

Former Sox farmhand Lucas Harrell gave the Astros a solid start in his return to U.S. Cellular Field. Harrell improved to 6-4 after giving up five runs on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts in 7 13 innings.

Humber ran into trouble right at the start of the second. J.D. Martinez led off with a 389-foot home run to left field. Humber walked the next batter, Brett Wallace, who advanced to second on a passed ball.

Wallace scored on a two-out single by Justin Maxwell to give the Astros an early 2-0 lead.

But Humber got into a groove for a bit after the rough inning. He retired the next seven batters as the Sox rallied to take their only lead of the day. Of those seven outs, six were by strikeout, including the last five consecutive.

The Sox tied it with two runs in the third after Alexei Ramirez led off with a single followed by a walk to Tyler Flowers. They both advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt by Orlando Hudson.

Ramirez came home on a single by Alejandro De Aza. Flowers scored when a Gordon Beckham ground ball went through the legs of Chris Johnson at third and everybody was safe.

The potential for a big inning fizzled quickly as Dunn fouled out to Johnson and Konerko lined out to right, keeping it tied 2-2.

Some small ball helped the Sox take a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Alex Rios led off with a single and then stole second base. He went to third on a wild pitch by Lucas Harrell before scoring on a Ramirez sacrifice fly.

The lead was short-lived as the Astros roughed up Humber again in the fifth. Brian Bogusevic singled to start the inning ahead of a 461-foot crushing home run by Maxwell. The ball landed in the second deck just below the terrace suite. The home run withstood a video replay.

Humbers afternoon ended in the sixth shortly after giving up his third home run -- and second to start an inning. This time it was Wallace, who connected for his second home run of the series and season.

After Johnson followed with a single, Humber left for Nate Jones as the Astros kept rolling. By the time the inning ended Houston added three more runs to take a 9-3 lead.

Dunn homered to lead off the sixth for Chicago. The 407-foot blast was his 20th of the season, but did little to rally the Sox.

A two-out walk by Zach Stewart hurt as Houston tacked on two more runs in the eighth with their fourth home run of the game. Jose Altuve hit this one as the Astros became the first team to score more than 10 runs against the Sox this season.

Konerko got the Sox closer with a two-run home run in the eighth, his 12th of the season and first since May 27. Hudson then struck for his first home run with the Sox, a three-run shot to right in the ninth.

After an off-day, the Sox begin a six-game road trip Tuesday in St. Louis.

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.

The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.

The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.

Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.

Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.

He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to MLBTraderumors.com and earned $4.125 million in 2016.

Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.

The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.

The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

Crain's Chicago Business released its latest 40 under 40 project and White Sox announcer Jason Benetti made this year's list.

The 33-year-old just finished his first season with the White Sox as play-by-play announcer, working the home games at U.S. Cellular Field (before it was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field last month) alongside Steve Stone as longtime broadcaster Hawk Harrelson saw his workload reduced to mostly road games.

Benetti quickly became a fan favorite among Chicagoans on CSN and other networks in 2016 and his cerebral palsy became more of a backstory, with his work alongside Stone and his affable sense of humor taking center stage instead.

Among other topics, Benetti discussed how he approaches his job of broadcasting for the team he grew up rooting for:

Law school taught me that there are always two sides of the argument. I see it from the Sox prism, but I can’t believe in my heart of hearts that, if the Sox lose, the world’s over anymore. That first game, I was like, “All right, it’s just a game.” And then Avi Garcia hits a homer late in the game against the Indians and I call it like I would call it with a little more. And as the ball cleared the fence, when it was rolling around, I got a slight tear in my eye. And I was like, “What’s that?”

Check out the entire interview with Benetti and the full list at ChicagoBusiness.com.