WHITE SOX DEFEAT ASTROS

Astros' bats fall silent in series opening loss to White Sox

Astros' bats fall silent in series opening loss to White Sox
White Sox defeat Astros, 2-0. Composite Getty Image.

Jonathan Cannon pitched seven-hit ball into the ninth inning in his first major league win, helping the Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Cannon, a third-round pick in the 2022 amateur draft, struck out four and walked one. He threw 106 pitches, 70 for strikes, in his fifth career start and sixth appearance overall.

Cannon received a warm ovation when he departed after Jon Singleton and Mauricio Dubón singled with two outs in the ninth. John Brebbia then retired Victor Caratini on a grounder to first for his second save of the season.

Cannon (1-1) made his debut in April, but was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte after allowing 11 runs in 13 2/3 innings over three starts. He has permitted one run and 14 hits in 18 2/3 innings since he was recalled by the lowly White Sox on June 7.

Alex Bregman and Trey Cabbage each had two hits for Houston.

The Astros played without slugger Yordan Alvarez, who is batting .365 with five homers and 15 RBIs in June. Manager Joe Espada said Alvarez was dealing with a family matter, but could be back in the lineup as soon as Wednesday.

Framber Valdez (5-5) permitted two hits in six innings, but two of his five walks came around to score. Apparently frustrated by the strike zone, Espada was ejected by plate umpire Derek Thomas in the bottom of the third.

Andrew Vaughn drove in each of Chicago's runs on fielder's choice grounders with the bases loaded, one in the third and another one in the fifth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (neck discomfort) was placed on the 15-day injured list, and RHP Nick Hernandez was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land. ... Espada said C Yainer Diaz (right hand) “came out well” after making his first start at catcher on Sunday since June 9.

White Sox: DH Eloy Jiménez (strained left hamstring) could return next week, general manager Chris Getz said. Jiménez is on a rehab assignment in the Arizona Complex League.

UP NEXT

Garrett Crochet (6-5, 3.16 ERA) pitches for Chicago on Wednesday night. The left-hander is 5-1 with a 1.36 ERA in his last nine starts. Hunter Brown (3-5, 5.00) takes the mound for Houston. The right-hander has a 13-inning scoreless streak after winning each of his last two starts.

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With both Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers making their way back from surgeries that sideline that Astros pitchers last season, and given the team's thin depth in their starting rotation, Houston fans and media have waited on bated breath for scraps of information to leak out of the notoriously secretive organization regarding their progress.

In a week full of mostly Hurricane Beryl-related bad news, the Astros organization had some discouraging news of their own when manager Joe Espada told the media that Lance McCullers has been shut down from pitching after his arm did not respond well to his latest bullpen session. The team says they are "formulating a plan for what's next."

Another Astros starter making his way back from injury is HOF-bound Justin Verlander. Verlander has been on the IL since June 16th with neck discomfort and, while there was initial hope that JV would only miss a start, his status has become increasingly murky as he is still apparently not close to returning.

Shifting from the health questions of the starters to the performance questions of the bullpen, some Houston fans have voiced concern via social media that Astros big-ticket 9th inning pitcher Josh Hader is not looking like a "shut-down" closer. Hader gave up more home runs in the first week of July (3) as he did the entire month of June (2).

In this week's episode of Stone Cold Stros, Charlie Pallilo and Brandon Strange discuss how the fluid dynamics of Astros pitching is impacting the competitive landscape of the division race. To watch the conversation, just click the video YouTube embedded in this article. To listen to the entire episode on podcast, search "Stone Cold Stros" in your favorite podcast app or click one of the following links.

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