After a disappointing start to the season, the White Sox hope to vault themselves into the postseason discussion during the second half.
With a 3-2 win Friday night over the Astros, Chicago sits in fourth place in the American League Central, 9 1/2 games behind the first-place Tigers. They began the second half six games out of the second AL Wild Card.
"I don't think anyone's sitting here trying to say we're going to play for the Wild Card or whatever. You're trying to go out and play good and let the cards fall as they may and, obviously, we feel we have the talent here to do that. We haven't gotten on a good hot streak, a good run yet, that most teams every year seem to do," White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn said.
Dunn pointed to a lack of consistency at the heart of Chicago's first-half issues.
"It seems like we'll have a decent run and follow it up with a pretty good losing streak. I think the main thing in the second half, you need to be consistent and obviously more consistent and eliminate the three- or four-game losing streaks," Dunn said.
Hector Noesi will take the mound Saturday night against the Astros.
Noesi had a whirlwind first half. When he made a relief appearance for the White Sox on April 26, it marked his third appearance with a different team already in the first month. Chicago acquired Noesi after the Mariners and Rangers dumped him in April.
He's posted a 4.56 ERA in 14 starts with the White Sox.
Noesi is coming off of his worst start with Chicago. The right-hander allowed a season-high six runs to go with 11 hits plus walks in just 4 2/3 innings of the White Sox's 7-4 loss to the Indians, July 11.
Dallas Keuchel's ascension to a contender for a spot on the AL's All-Star Game roster begins its second act against the White Sox, as he takes a 3.21 ERA into his first start against Chicago this season.
Keuchel has endured a four-start stretch in which his ERA has nearly increased by a full point. He's allowed 17 earned runs and 46 hits plus walks in his last 24 2/3 innings.
White Sox: Eaton returns to action
Adam Eaton collected a triple in his return to the lineup Friday.
Eaton finished 1-for-4 after sitting out the last two games of the first half with a wrist injury.
The leadoff man is batting .270 this season with a .339 on-base percentage and eight steals.
Astros: Houston whiffs against Chicago
The Astros were overwhelmed at the plate Friday night in the 3-2 loss to the White Sox.
Chicago pitchers notched 14 strikeouts, with starter Jose Quintana accounting for eight and three relievers combining for the final six.
Astros designated hitter Chris Carter was the biggest culprit. He whiffed in all four of his plate appearances.
Jose Altuve (three), George Springer (two) and Robbie Grossman (two) also fanned multiple times.
The White Sox bullpen combined for four perfect innings on Friday night. Daniel Webb, Ronald Belisario and Zach Putnam shut out Houston and collected six strikeouts.
Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to nine games with a double on Friday night.
Houston's Jon Singleton (23) and Springer (22) lead MLB in strikeouts for July.
Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.