Houston has a rough night

Astros struggle all around in loss to White Sox

Houston struggled on both sides of the ball on Saturday in Chicago. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

After getting a lopsided win in the opener on Friday night, the Astros tried to capitalize on the chance to lock up the series with the formidable White Sox on Saturday night in the series middle game. Instead, Chicago would take their turn to dominate, handing Houston the loss to even things at a game apiece.

Final Score: White Sox 10, Astros 1

Astros' Record: 56-37, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lucas Giolito (8-6)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (3-5)

Odorizzi gets roughed up and exits early

After allowing just a walk in the first two innings, Jake Odorizzi would watch his start go downhill from there. Chicago tagged him with back-to-back solo homers with one out on the bottom of the third, jumping ahead 2-0 before Odorizzi would finish the inning. He returned to try and rebound in the fourth and give his team some more innings but instead would continue to struggle, allowing two more runs on an RBI double and single, extending the White Sox's lead to 4-0. He would get just one out into the inning before being removed in favor of Brandon Bielak. His final line: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 2 HR, 73 P.

Houston's bullpen doesn't fare any better

After Bielak finished the fourth for Odorizzi, he gave up two runs of his own on a one-out two-run homer to make it 6-0 in the bottom of the fifth. He went on to complete that frame, then in the bottom of the next inning, the Astros turned to Joe Smith to try and at least keep things within a long arm's reach. The White Sox kept scoring, though, getting a leadoff double, then a single, then a three-run blast to extend the lead further to 9-0 and blow things open.

Austin Pruitt, who was acquired by the Astros in the 2019-20 offseason but suffered an injury to keep him sidelined last year, made his long-awaited debut for Houston out of the bullpen in the bottom of the seventh. He too would feel the wrath of Chicago's offense, giving up a solo homer to make it 10-0 but retiring the other three batters he faced.

White Sox even the series

Meanwhile, Houston's offense had nothing for Lucas Giolito who was carving up the Astros lineup. After a one-out double in the second at-bat of the game by Michael Brantley, Giolito retired the next 22 in a row getting to two outs in the top of the eighth. Abraham Toro would finally get Houston on the board, hitting a solo homer to make it a nine-run game at 10-1. Pruitt returned for a scoreless bottom of the eighth, keeping it 10-1 which would be the final score as Giolito would finish the complete game in the top of the ninth, handing the Astros the lopsided loss.

Up Next: The finale and rubber game of this three-game series will get underway at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Framber Valdez (5-1, 2.98 ERA) will make his first start of the second half for Houston, while Carlos Rodon (7-3, 2.31) will go for Chicago.

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The Astros have assigned left-handed reliever Matt Gage to minor league camp, which means Houston's pitching staff is likely to head into the season without a lefty in the bullpen.

Ronel Blanco and Seth Martinez are expected to be the last two pitchers in the Astros bullpen now that Gage isn't expected to fill a spot on the club. With the Astros playing so many games in the month of April, could we see Blanco or Martinez making some starts with Lance McCullers still on the shelf?

Plus, should the Astros check in on Yuli Gurriel for some depth considering his versatility and the loss of Jose Altuve for the first couple months of the season? Gurriel still hasn't been added to the Marlins 40-man roster, which means he can opt out of his deal on Saturday if nothing changes.

Based on how things played out for Carlos Correa, the guys aren't very confident the Astros would change their stance on Yuli. But you never know.

Be sure to check out the video above as we break it all down!

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