White Sox bullpen covers 8 2/3 innings to beat Astros

(TSX / STATS) -- HOUSTON -- Chris Volstad pitched effectively in emergency relief, and six additional relievers chipped in as the Chicago White Sox averted a series sweep with a 3-1 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday night at Minute Maid Park.

Summoned when starter Carson Fulmer left because of a blister after facing only three batters, Volstad (1-0) worked 4 1/3 solid innings, surrendering a leadoff home run to Houston catcher Brian McCann in the third inning but otherwise keeping the vaunted Astros lineup in check.

Volstad allowed three hits, did not walk a batter and recorded two strikeouts before passing the baton to left-hander Jace Fry.

From that point moving forward, White Sox manager Rick Renteria mixed and matched his way through the remainder of the game. Chicago (61-91) got four outs from righty Mike Pelfrey. Renteria sandwiched another southpaw, Aaron Bummer, between right-handers Gregory Infante and Danny Farquhar, with the latter working a perfect eighth inning.

Right-hander Juan Minaya tossed a scoreless, albeit tense, ninth inning to record his fifth save.

After scratching across two runs off Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel (13-5), the White Sox recorded a critical insurance run when shortstop Tim Anderson drilled a leadoff home run to straightaway center field off Astros right-hander Francis Martes in the eighth inning. Anderson extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games with his 17th home run on the season.

The Astros (93-59) had their six-game winning streak halted and fell 2 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Indians in pursuit of the best record in the American League and home-field advantage in the postseason.

Keuchel wobbled just enough in the second and third innings to provide the White Sox a lead. He loaded the bases with one out in the second before walking Chicago left fielder Rymer Liriano to force in Avisail Garcia with the first run. Keuchel rallied to strike out Adam Engel and Anderson in succession but loaded the bases again in the third inning, this time with no outs.

By inducing a double-play grounder off the bat of catcher Kevan Smith, Keuchel again limited the damage to one run, with Yoan Moncada scoring on the play.

NOTES: White Sox RHP Carson Fulmer faced just three batters before departing with a blister on his right index finger. The White Sox dugout spotted an issue with Fulmer before he walked his second batter of the first inning, Astros 2B Jose Altuve. RHP Chris Volstad was warming in the bullpen before Altuve completed his plate appearance. Fulmer recorded one out. ... Astros RHP Lance McCullers completed his bullpen session on Wednesday without issue, but the club hasn't committed to naming him the starter on Sunday for the finale of the final homestand of the season. McCullers, battling arm fatigue, last pitched on Sept. 6. ... White Sox DH Matt Davidson was a late scratch due to a low-grade fever.


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