A showdown featuring two of the best starting pitchers in baseball did not quite live up to its billing. But Tuesday's game between the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox didn’t disappoint. Justin Verlander out-pitched Dylan Cease but the South Siders had the last laugh in another dramatic late-inning comeback win fueled by a Yoan Moncada clutch hit.
Cease lasted just five innings, allowing three runs on six hits. In the top of the third, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker hit back-to-back doubles to give Houston a 2-1 lead. This was due in part to a ball misplayed by right fielder Andrew Vaughn. Jose Altuve led off the fifth with a solo homer to left field to put the Astros ahead 3-1.
Verlander, the MLB leader in wins and ERA entering Tuesday, lasted seven innings and surrendered three runs on eight hits. He settled down after Josh Harrison plated the first run of the game in the second with a single. Verlander stranded the bases loaded after getting Lenyn Sosa to pop out and AJ Pollock to ground into a fielder's choice. The veteran righty settled down before running into trouble in the seventh.
Sox Rally Strikes Again
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Verlander gave up a one-out single to Harrison and walked Seby Zavala. Gavin Sheets then pinch-hit for Sosa and delivered a two-run double to the right-field corner to tie the game at three.
The Sox had a runner on third with two outs in the eighth when Yoan Moncada’s bloop single to center scored Adam Engel, who came in to run after Eloy Jimenez led off with a walk. Moncada came through with a go-ahead single in the eighth inning for the second straight game to take the lead.
Liam Hendriks pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to secure the South Siders’ fifth-straight win. They now sit tied for second with the Minnesota Twins and one game behind the first-place Cleveland Guardians with 45 games left to play.
Dylan Cease’s MLB-record streak of 14 consecutive starts without allowing more than one earned run came to an end.
Aledmys Diaz exited the game due to a left groin injury. It happened when he caught Yasamani Grandal’s line drive in the third inning.
Luis Robert won’t need to go to the injured list and could return Wednesday.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Chicago White Sox will look to take the series against the Houston Astros on Wednesday. Framber Valdez will look to right the ship for the visitors while Michael Kopech takes the hill for the Sox. Kopech threw six no-hit innings and struck out a career-high 11 in his last start. Wednesday's contest will air on NBC Sports Chicago and Sox On Tap will have the postgame show.