Hunter Brown tosses 6 impressive innings, César Salazar drives in 2 in Astros’ 4-1 win vs. White Sox

CHICAGO (AP) — 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 sacrifice 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.

“He was really good, efficient,” Houston manager Joe Espada said. “You know, his stuff, he just keeps getting better and better each time he’s out there.”

Brown was 0-4 with a 9.78 ERA after six starts in April. The Detroit native is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in nine games since.

Issuing fewer walks, 16 in his last nine outings, has been a part of his turnaround.

“It’s been an emphasis for every pitcher for probably eternity,” Brown said. “You know, free passes can lead to some danger, so you try to avoid them at all costs.”

What helped Brown flip the control switch?

“Honestly, I wish I could pinpoint it to something,” he said. “But, you know, just putting in work in between outings and knowing that eventually the results are going to come.”

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.

“Sally’s prepared, he’s always ready,” Espada said. “He came in and got a big knock against a tough pitcher. Sally was a big part of our win tonight.”

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

“I thought Crochet threw the ball good,” Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said. “They started attacking early and a couple of balls found some holes there.

“I thought he did a really good job of minimizing the damage.”

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, Espada said. “The recovery is slow, and we all hoped it would have been faster,” Espada added. 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: 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.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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