White Sox squander early lead, fall to Astros 6-3
Holding a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning is probably going to get the job done against most teams in baseball.
The Astros are an exception.
Looking for their second straight win over the defending World Series champions Friday night in Houston, the White Sox were up by 3 in the sixth and feeling pretty good about themselves.
The Astros flipped that mood while rallying for a 6-3 win at Minute Maid Park.
Getting the start for the Sox in Game 2 of the season, Lance Lynn had some command issues early but he kept Houston's powerhouse offense quiet until the sixth inning, when Jose Abreu singled with two outs and Kyle Tucker followed with a home run.
That ended Lynn's night, and the 35-year-old righty gave up 2 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks over 5 2/3 innings. Lynn also had 6 strikeouts while throwing 96 pitches.
"Lance threw the ball really well tonight, made pitches all night with men on base, battled his butt off," manager Pedro Grifol told reporters.
Lynn blamed himself for the sixth inning momentum shift.
"I walked too many guys and I give up the homer (to Tucker)," he said. "That's on me. I've got to get through that inning. If I get through that inning, I've got a chance to win.
"I put the bullpen in a bad spot and it didn't go our way after that."
The Astros tacked on 3 more runs in the seventh inning to take the lead.
White Sox reliever Kendall Graveman gave up 3 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks.
Graveman exited with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh and Yordan Alvarez greeted Jake Diekman with a 3-run double that sailed over left fielder Andrew Benintendi's head and hit the wall.
Houston added another run in the eighth inning to even the opening series. Lucas Giolito starts for the Sox Saturday afternoon against Jose Urquidy.
Powered by Eloy Jimenez, the White Sox got to Astros starter Cristian Javier early.
After going 0-for-5 in Thursday night's opener and leaving 10 runners on base, Jimenez had an RBI double off Javier in the first inning and another RBI double in the sixth.
Yoan Moncada followed Jimenez with his own run-scoring double in the sixth inning.
"Overall, a couple walks just got to us," Grifol said. "Hard-fought game. A pitch or two away, a knock or two away and the outcome's different."
Andrew Vaughn's 2-run double lifted the White Sox to a 3-2 win over Houston Thursday, but the first baseman sat out Friday.
After dealing with some back soreness late in spring training, Vaughn was scheduled to sit out once in the four-game series against the Astros. He's expected to be back in the lineup Saturday and Sunday.