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Jun 17, 2024 1:49 pm

Help coming for Houston as Astros visit White Sox

jonathan cannon

The Houston Astros have won three of their past four series entering the opener of a three-game set against the host Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.

That’s preferable to the kind of uneven baseball the club was playing after a season-best six-game winning streak in mid-May. Still, injuries have left the Astros feeling like something still is missing.

Houston remains hopeful for a salve in Chicago. Manager Joe Espada said right fielder Kyle Tucker (right shin contusion) “is moving in the right direction” and is “hopeful” Tucker could return against the White Sox.

He’s been out since fouling a pitch off his leg against St. Louis on June 3.

Meanwhile, Espada said veteran right-hander Justin Verlander “seems like he’s getting better” after being scratched from Saturday’s start against the Detroit Tigers with neck discomfort.

Espada didn’t provide a timetable on the starters for the White Sox series amid the uncertainty in the rotation, saying that much of it hinged on the health of Verlander.

“If he feels better, that could be a strong possibility he could make his next start (in Chicago),” Espada said.

One player White Sox fans are certain they won’t see at Guaranteed Rate Field is former Astros first baseman Jose Abreu. On Friday, Houston released the longtime White Sox star and former American League MVP.

Abreu continued to struggle in the second season of a three-year, $58.5 million contract with the Astros, hitting .124 with two home runs and seven RBIs. He also spent some time in the minor leagues.

Chicago limps home for a brief, three-game homestand after losing five of seven on a road trip to Seattle and Arizona.

The White Sox played a trio of one-run games against the AL West-leading Mariners but lost two of them as a struggling bullpen was unable to support a resurgent starting rotation.

Rookie righty Jonathan Cannon, who is set to get the call Tuesday, has pitched to a 0.90 in 10 June innings since returning to the majors from Triple-A Charlotte.

On Wednesday, he pitched seven innings of one-run, four-hit ball with one walk and a career-best seven strikeouts in a no-decision at Seattle. While the White Sox went on to lose the game 2-1 in 10 innings, the club was steeled by Cannon’s resurgence.

Cannon (0-1, 4.56 ERA) had a 7.24 ERA in three April starts before heading back to the minors.

In Seattle, “I feel like I had everything working for the first time up here as a starter,” Cannon said. “It’s about keeping consistency from start to start. I feel really confident about where my stuff is.”

Said Chicago manager Pedro Grifol: “He’s got some weapons, he’s a really tough kid, and he’s got that mindset to put you away.”

The White Sox have lost a major league worst 54 games, including six of their past eight.

The team allowed three runs in the first inning and six more in the fourth en route to Sunday’s 12-5 loss against the Diamondbacks. Tommy Pham and Andrew Vaughn both had three hits.

–Field Level Media

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