Gomez, Fiers lead Astros over White Sox

Gomez, Fiers lead Astros over White Sox

HOUSTON (AP) Carlos Gomez hit a two-run homer and Mike Fiers and three relievers combined for a shutout to help the surging Houston Astros to a 5-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.

It was Houston's fourth straight victory and 11th in the last 12 games.

Fiers (6-3) scattered four hits over six innings. Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson didn't allow a hit in an inning each and Chris Devenski threw a scoreless ninth.

The Astros didn't have a baserunner until Miguel Gonzalez (1-4) plunked George Springer to start the fourth inning. He then walked Luis Valbuena before Jose Altuve grounded into a double play that left Springer at third.

Houston's first hit came next when Carlos Correa's strange infield popup dropped in front of shortstop Tim Anderson and allowed Springer to score and make it 1-0.

Gomez padded the lead when he sent one into the seats in left field with one out in the seventh to make it 3-0. Correa reached on an error by third baseman Tyler Saladino before Gomez's shot.

Gomez has started heating up after a tough start to the season that included a May when he hit just .136. He has hit four homers, five doubles and driven in 15 runs since June 5 to boost his average from .182 to .225.

Gonzalez yielded three hits and two runs in a season-high seven innings.

Houston first baseman A.J. Reed got his first major league hit with a single with two outs in the fifth inning. He was 0 for 16 since being called up on Saturday before the hit.

Valbuena added an RBI double in the eighth and Colby Rasmus had a run-scoring single in that inning to make it 5-0.

ALTUVE'S STREAK ENDS

Altuve went 0 for 4 without a walk to end a streak where he reached safely in a career-high 32 straight games. The streak was the longest by an Astro since Lance Berkman did it in 37 straight games from July 30-Sept. 8, 2004.

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: 3B Matt Davidson had surgery on Friday after breaking his right foot rounding first base in his White Sox debut a day before. Davidson had a screw inserted to repair his foot and the White Sox don't know how long he'll be out. They recalled INF Carlos Sanchez from Triple-A Charlotte before Friday's game to take his spot on the roster.

Astros: RHP Lance McCullers, who was scratched from his last start on Tuesday with a blister on his right index finger, is doing better and is expected to make his next start on Monday.

UP NEXT

White Sox: Chris Sale (13-2, 2.79) is scheduled to pitch for Chicago on Saturday. Sale, who leads the majors with 13 wins, has a four-game winning streak. Sale is 4-1 with a 0.66 ERA and 56 strikeouts in five career starts against Houston.

Astros: Doug Fister (8-4, 3.36) will start for Houston on Saturday. Fister allowed eight hits and four runs in 6 2/3 innings of a loss to the Royals on Sunday to snap a seven-game winning streak.

 

White Sox 'impressed' with rookie Tim Anderson's start

White Sox 'impressed' with rookie Tim Anderson's start

Aside from Todd Frazier’s desire for a more vocal presence on the field, Tim Anderson’s play has brought few complaints so far.

The White Sox top prospect has flashed ridiculous speed, good hands and a strong arm at shortstop, and his aggressive bat has already made an impact. What’s more, the organization is more than satisfied with the maturity displayed by the 2013 first-round pick and his desire to improve.

To say the least, Anderson is off to a good start with the White Sox, who open a three-game series at Houston on Friday night.

“I've been impressed with Timmy,” manager Robin Ventura said. “He's a very confident kid. He's quiet, but there's some confidence and some inner-drive. He's not a showboat guy. He just goes out and plays and he's a hard-nosed kid.”

Anderson is hitting .314/.322/.512 with 10 extra-base hits, five RBIs and two stolen bases in his first 19 games. He has multiple hits in 10 contests, which is the most by a White Sox rookie through 19 games since Gus Zernial in 1949. Anderson also has produced three Defensive Runs Saved and is 0.7 Wins Above Replacement in his short time in the majors.

It hasn’t all been easy.

He struck out twice with the bases loaded late in a one-run loss at the Boston Red Sox on June 23. He also endured a 1-for-12 span almost immediately after he was promoted to the majors. And he has struck out 28 times in 88 plate appearances, a rate of 31.1 percent.

But even when he struggles, teammates say Anderson’s mood — quiet, upbeat and determined — has stayed the same.

“With Timmy doing what he’s doing, it’s nice to watch,” third baseman Todd Frazier said. “I was telling Rick Renteria in the dugout, he doesn’t change one bit whether he’s bad or good. That’s the sign of a really great athlete.”

The ability to adapt has helped Anderson develop quickly.

[RELATED: Tim Anderson draws first walk of career]

One of the knocks on Anderson has always been that his tools are raw because he didn’t start to play until his junior year at Hillcrest High in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. With only four years of baseball experience when he was drafted, the White Sox expected to take their time with Anderson. Before this season, general manager Rick Hahn said Anderson might need all season at Triple-A Charlotte to refine his game.

But Anderson forced their hand.

“He's come a long way in the last couple years as far as just his instinctual stuff on the field and the inner timing of everything, that baseball clock in your mind,” Ventura said. “He's got it on spot.

“Just the ball off the bat, his reactions, his first step quickness. The first thing you really notice is how he moves. He's been great.”

Frazier agrees. He calls Anderson a catalyst at the top of the lineup as the White Sox have averaged 4.7 runs per game with him in the lineup. The team is 10-9 since Anderson arrived.

Frazier’s only point of contention with Anderson is in the field. But it’s all part of Frazier having fun with the rookie — “I bust his chops a lot,” he said.

“He doesn’t say much,” Frazier said. “I wish he would talk some more in the infield.

“Tell me if a guy’s stealing or not. Little things like that.”

Asked about Frazier’s ribbing on Thursday, Anderson started to smile. He recounted how the veteran informed him that the club planned to set aside the umpire, the pitcher and the ball for safe keeping after Anderson drew the first walk of his career.

Though he didn’t know what to expect at first, Anderson has started to find more comfort at the big league level. As for the on field-chatter with Frazier, that’s a work in progress.

“We are going to work on that,” Anderson said. “It’s coming.”

White Sox promote Carlos Sanchez, place Matt Davidson on disabled list

White Sox promote Carlos Sanchez, place Matt Davidson on disabled list

The White Sox promoted Carlos Sanchez on Friday and placed Matt Davidson on the 15-day disabled list with a broken right foot.

The starting second baseman in 2015, Sanchez has appeared in 11 games for the White Sox this season. He’s hitting .154 with one RBI in 29 plate appearances. Sanchez was hitting .258/.313/.413 at Triple-A Charlotte with six homers and 24 RBIs.

Davidson became the most recent White Sox casualty when he broke a bone in his foot running the bases in his season debut on Thursday. The third baseman singled in a run and scored but injured himself somewhere in between.

Acquired in a trade for Addison Reed in December 2013, Davidson was in the midst of his best season at Triple-A. He was named an International League All-Star earlier this week and was promoted to the big leagues on Thursday.