How Houston Astros first half could all​ hinge on this stretch

STONE COLD 'STROS

The Houston Astros are coming off a disappointing road trip where the team lost two series to the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cleveland Guardians. The team just finished off seventeen games in seventeen days and can definetly use their day off to get ready for a crucial stretch of games against some below average teams.

Hopefully, the Astros can make some hay over this stretch of games, because they have some tough opponents at the end of the month. They face the Dodgers and then have a huge series against the first place Rangers that could have a massive impact on the team's chances of catching Texas in the standings.

Don't miss the video above as we lay out why these upcoming home games could alter the course of the season.

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Astros defeat White Sox, 4-1. Composite Getty Image.

Hunter Brown tossed six innings of one-run ball for his third straight win, backup catcher César Salazar had a pair of RBI singles and the Houston Astros topped the Chicago White Sox 4-1 on Wednesday night.

Jake Meyers lined a pair of doubles to end an 0-for-17 slump and scored two runs to help Houston end a two-game slide. Mauricio Dubón drove in a run with a groundout and single to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. Chas McCormick added a sac fly.

Andrew Benintendi hit a solo homer in the fourth for Chicago, ending Brown’s streak of scoreless innings at 16, a season high for an Astros pitcher.

Brown (4-5) scattered seven hits, struck out six and walked none in his sixth straight quality start. The 25-year-old right-hander, in his second season in Houston's rotation, lowered his ERA to 4.72 after a rough start.

Three relievers followed with three innings of one-hit ball. Josh Hader worked around a single in the ninth for his 10th save.

Salazar went 2 for 2 in his second game this season and first multihit game of his career. He entered in the third inning after starting catcher Victor Caratini left with discomfort in his left leg after he was thrown out at the plate.

Recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land on June 11, Salazar started the night with just three hits in 20 career at-bats in 14 contests.

White Sox starter Garrett Crochet (6-6) labored at times through six innings, allowing three runs and nine hits. The lefty struck out eight and walked one.

The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the third after loading the bases with one out. McCormick scored from third on Dubón’s groundout when Chicago got a force at second, but couldn’t complete a double-play.

Houston made it 2-0 in the fourth on Salazar’s single.

Benintendi’s homer down the line to right in the bottom half cut it to 2-1.

After Meyers doubled in the sixth, Salazar followed with a grounder up the middle to make it 3-1.

Meyers scored again on McCormick’s sacrifice fly in the eighth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: OF Kyle Tucker (right shin contusion) still has not started on-field baseball activities, manager Joe Espada said. “The recovery is slow, and we all hoped it would have been faster,” Espada said. The slugger had 19 homers when he was hurt on June 3 when he fouled a pitch off his shin against the Cardinals.

White Sox: Manager Pedro Grifol said RHP Mike Clevinger (right elbow inflammation) will need at least one more rehab start with Triple-A Charlotte. The 33-year-old right-hander allowed two runs and four hits in three innings on Tuesday. Clevinger went on the 15-day IL on May 28.

UP NEXT

Houston will send Spencer Arrighetti (3-6, 6.37) to the mound against Chicago’s Chris Flexen (2-6, 5.35) in the series finale Thursday afternoon.

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