Altuve homers, Astros top White Sox 3-1 for 5th straight

(TSX / STATS) -- HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve matched his career high for home runs, and a four-man bullpen turned in an exceptional performance in the Houston Astros' 3-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.

Altuve smacked an opposite-field homer off White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito (2-3) with one out in the fourth inning, pulling the Astros even at 1-1 with his 24th dinger. Altuve hit 24 home runs last season en route to a third-place finish in the American League MVP race.

Three batters later, Houston (92-58) moved ahead for good when Alex Bregman followed a Marwin Gonzalez single with a double to the left-center-field gap. Gonzalez scored from first on the hit.

Houston added an insurance run in the eighth when George Springer doubled, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Josh Reddick, and scored on an Altuve groundout. Springer was initially ruled out on the play by plate umpire Mike Everitt, but Astros manager A.J. Hinch challenged the call and it was overturned following a review of one minute and 57 seconds.

Giolito allowed two runs on seven hits and one walk with three strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings.

Astros right-hander Collin McHugh (3-2) pitched effectively after missing time with a right middle finger avulsion, allowing one run in five innings. However, it was the parade of four right-handed relievers who excelled.

Will Harris, Luke Gregerson and Chris Devenski combined to record six strikeouts over three hitless innings. Astros closer Ken Giles worked around a leadoff single by shortstop Tim Anderson in the ninth, striking out the side to notch his 32nd save.

The White Sox (60-90) had won five consecutive games in the season series.

McHugh, making his first start since Sept. 8, was as solid as could be expected given the layoff. He worked around a spot of trouble in the first inning, stranding a pair of baserunners in the process, and retired the side in order in the second before Jose Abreu smoked an RBI double to left that scored Yoan Moncada with two outs in the third. Moncada had singled and stole second base.

NOTES: Astros RHP Lance McCullers is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, another step in his ongoing rehab for arm fatigue. McCullers has pitched just once since being activated from the 10-day disabled list on Sept. 6 after missing 34 games with back discomfort. ... White Sox RF Avisail Garcia, who went 1-for-3 with a walk, entered the series leading the majors batting .446 against left-handers. He is aiming to become the first Chicago player since at least 1974 to lead the majors in average against southpaws and the first to pace the American League since Frank Thomas batted .407 against left-handers in 2000. ... In order to keep both LHP Dallas Keuchel and RHP Justin Verlander on their normal schedules, Houston RHP Charlie Morton had his next start pushed back three days to Saturday.


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