Chicago, IL—The Chicago White Sox are having jekyll and hyde season so far but they figured it all out Saturday night.
Luis Robert Jr. homered and drove in two runs, the White Sox defeated the Houston Astros 3-1 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Robert Jr. hit his 10th home run in the fourth inning and drove in Yoan Moncada with the go-ahead run with a single in the eighth inning. Later in the same frame, Seby Zavala added to the lead with an RBI single.
Despite their 14-27 record, the ChiSox are only 8½ games behind the first-place Twins. With a long season ahead of them anything is possible after the All-Star break.
Right-hander Dylan Cease threw six scoreless innings after allowing a combined 17 earned runs in his previous three outings. He had a great command of his pitches utilizing both sides of the plate.
Cease allowed four hits — all singles — had 5K’s and walked two. The right-hander, who finished second in AL Cy Young Award voting last year, was 0-2 with an 8.25 ERA in his previous five starts.
‘‘This was really great,’’ Cease said. ‘‘Finally some of the work going into it paid off.’’
Robert, also went yard during Friday night’s 5-1 loss, is batting .415 (17 for 41) with five dingers and 13 RBIs in 12 May games.
“His chases are down. He’s getting good pitches to hit. He’s seeing the ball really well,” Chisox manager Pedro Grifol said. “He took some good pitches today. He’s extremely dangerous when he stays in the strike zone, and he’s working hard at it.”
Joe Kelly (1-1) got four outs for the W, and Kendall Graveman pitched the ninth for his second save. Robert made a spectacular catch in center for the final out.
Jeremy Peña had three of Houston’s eight hits. The Astros had won three straight.
Montero has given up nine runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings over his last four appearances.
“It’s not like he’s throwing the ball bad,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s like, No. 1, he’s not getting any breaks and No. 2, his location is off some.”
Houston knotted the game at 1 a piece in the seventh against relievers Reynaldo Lopez and Joe Kelly. Mauricio Dubon smashed a two-out infield single that bounced high and was fielded by Kelly, who had nowhere to throw when Andrew Vaughn left first base uncovered to make a play on the ball as well.
The Sox recovered from that inning without giving up any more runs. The baseball gods was in their favor.
‘‘If we play like that consistently, we’re going to be pretty deadly,’’ Cease said.
The Astros threatened in the first inning, loading the bases with two out, but Cease escaped the jam when Peña bounced into a fielder’s choice for the third out.
“Just working on some mechanical stuff to help me execute more consistently,” Cease said. “I think, especially after that first, I was able to get into a rhythm with it, and it finally became kind of automatic like it should be when everything’s going well.
Astros: OF Chase McCormick (back tightness) missed his fourth consecutive game. He could return on Sunday. 2B Jose Altuve (broken right thumb) went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts in his second rehab game with Triple-A Sugar Land.
White Sox: INF Elvis Andrus was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left oblique. INF/OF Romy Gonzalez was reinstated from the 10-day IL after being sidelined by right shoulder inflammation. C Yasmani Grandal was scratched.
Right-handers Hunter Brown (3-1, 3.23 ERA) and Lucas Giolito (2-2, 3.59 ERA) will be on the mound on Sunday in the series finale. Brown is 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in two May starts for Houston. Giolito pitched six quality innings in Chicago’s 4-2 win at Kansas City on Tuesday.