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.

Four top prospects among 19 players invited to White Sox big league camp

Four top prospects among 19 players invited to White Sox big league camp

Four of the team's top-10 prospects and a former All-Star are among the 19 nonroster invitees to White Sox big league camp this spring.

The team announced Monday that prospects Michael Kopech, Zack Collins, Zack Burdi and Spencer Adams have all been invited to camp next month. Everth Cabrera, an All-Star in 2013 for the San Diego Padres, Cody Asche, Cory Luebke and Geovany Soto are among the eight minor league free agents who also received an invitation. Pitchers and catchers report to camp in Glendale, Ariz. on Feb. 14 while the team holds its first full-squad workout on Feb. 18.

Kopech was acquired in the Chris Sale trade in December while Collins and Burdi were both selected in the 2016 amateur draft. Adams was drafted in 2014.

Signed earlier this month, Soto is expected to earn a spot on the 25-man roster. Soto, who played for the White Sox in 2015, finished last season with four home runs and an .809 OPS in 86 plate appearances for the Los Angeles Angels.

Cabrera, who produced 4.6 Wins Above Replacement between 2012-13, hasn't played in the majors since he appeared in 29 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 2015. Luebke, who has twice had reconstructive elbow surgery, finished with a 9.35 ERA in nine games for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Asche blasted 31 homers with a .240/.298/.385 slash line in 1,287 plate appearances since 2013 with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Other minor league free agents include: left-handed pitcher David Holmberg, right-handers Blake Smith and Anthony Swarzak, and catcher Roberto Pena.

White Sox minor leaguer pitchers Aaron Bummer, Brian Clark, Jace Fry and Matt Purke, infielders Nicky Delmonico and Danny Hayes, and outfielder Courtney Hawkins also have been invited to camp.

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