Kyle Tucker had a pair of RBI singles to lift the host Houston Astros to a 6-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Yordan Alvarez recorded three hits and two runs scored for the high-powered Astros, who banged out 11 hits, 10 of them singles.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Astros pieced together an old-fashioned two-out rally that proved to put them up to stay.
Alvarez singled into left off Chicago reliever Joe Kelly (0-1), and former White Sox slugger Jose Abreu — batting against the team with which he played for nine years — followed with another single to chase Kelly.
That left Jose Ruiz to face Tucker, who looped a single into right to score Alvarez for a 4-3 lead.
Hector Neris gave the Astros some clutch relief pitching in the eighth, coming in to strike out Elvis Andrus with White Sox runners on the corners.
The Astros tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth on RBI singles by Alvarez and Abreu.
Neris hung on through a shaky ninth to earn his first save. Ryne Stanek (1-0) was credited with the win after allowing one hit in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Neither starting pitcher figured in the decision. White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito served up four soft singles to Astros batters in the first inning, with the last two — by Tucker and Chas McCormick — bringing in runs to stake Houston to a 2-0 lead.
But the White Sox flexed their muscle against Astros right-hander Jose Urquidy in the top of the second inning. Yoan Moncada slashed a line drive 336 feet barely into Minute Maid Park’s Crawford Boxes.
In the top of the fourth, Chicago backup catcher Seby Zavala unloaded on a Urquidy slider and hit it deep into the left-field bleachers, a two-run shot that gave the White Sox a short-lived 3-2 lead.
But the Astros tied things right back up in the bottom of the fourth. Jeremy Pena laced a hustle double into left field, driving in David Hensley, and diving in safe at second with a headfirst slide that survived a White Sox umpiring challenge.
–Field Level Media