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Houston Astros ruin Dallas Keuchel’s homecoming, sweep Chicago White Sox

Jun 20, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros third baseman Abraham Toro (13) hits a single to right field against the Chicago White Sox during the third inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Abraham Toro recorded his first career four-hit game while Carlos Correa homered in support of Lance McCullers Jr. as the Houston Astros completed a four-game series sweep of the visiting Chicago White Sox with an 8-2 victory on Sunday.

The Astros improved to 16-4 over their last 20 games by battering their former staff ace, Dallas Keuchel (6-2), who suffered his first loss since April 30. Keuchel allowed six runs (three earned) on seven hits and four walks with three strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings, his shortest start since his rookie season when Keuchel worked 2 1/3 innings at the Milwaukee Brewers on Sept. 29, 2012.

Keuchel made his first appearance at Minute Maid Park since completing his seven-year run with the Astros in 2018. He labored through a 27-pitch first inning but stranded the bases loaded after allowing a two-out infield single to Toro that scored Jose Altuve for a 1-0 Houston lead.

Keuchel righted himself with a six-pitch second but the Astros sent 11 batters to the plate and chased Keuchel in the third. Five consecutive batters reached against Keuchel with one out in the frame, with Yordan Alvarez delivering a two-run single and Taylor Jones an RBI double.

Altuve worked a bases-loaded walk that scored Toro and chased Keuchel. Chas McCormick greeted White Sox reliever Matt Foster with a walk that plated Jones and upped the lead to 6-2.

Correa slugged his 14th home run leading off the fourth inning. Martin Maldonado came home on a single by Michael Brantley with two outs in the fifth.

Seven different Astros recorded at least one RBI. Alvarez drove in a pair while Toro finished 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.

McCullers (4-1) scuffled with his control, issuing leadoff walks in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. However, he induced double-play ground balls in each frame and limited the White Sox to two runs and two hits over six innings, with Jake Lamb smacking a two-run homer with two outs in the second. The White Sox temporarily took a 2-1 lead on the fifth home run for Lamb.

Houston outscored Chicago 27-8 in the four-game series and completed a 6-0 homestand. The White Sox are mired in a season-long four-game skid.

–Field Level Media