Two hits on the White Sox at ALDS after falling 9-4 to the Astros in Game 2

HOUSTON – There’s not much positive for the White Sox to come home to after playing the first two games of the MLS series against the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Tim Anderson did his best to find a few.

“Our backs are against the wall now,” Anderson said after the Sox lost to Houston 9-4 in Game Two on Friday. “We know what we have to do, we have to take care of the business. We have to keep fighting and keep pushing.

“We competed. We competed at a high level. We know things will get better.”

This is very possible, because they just can’t get any worse.

The White Sox went through the motions while losing to the Astros 6-1 in the ALDS opener Thursday.

On Friday, they took the field with much greater urgency.

Unlike Lance Lynn in Game 1, Sox player Lucas Giolito was sharp early on and the foul came out and flirted with the right hand to lead 4-2 in the fifth inning.

That’s when everything started falling apart.

At the bottom of the fifth, Giolito walked two of the first three Astros hitters he encountered and was pulled over.

The two runners came to score after Jarrett Crochet comforted Giolito and Houston regained momentum after tying 4-4.

“Maybe he’s trying to do a lot of things,” Giolito said, having played 4 runs and allowed 4 runs with 3 strokes and 5 walks. “I had a good idea that (the fifth) was probably my last run and we had just set up laps. I wanted to close.

“It’s a different environment here than I’m used to, so I got some valuable experience today, just kind of reining in and making sure the focus is on target. I had a lot of waste.”

In the seventh inning, Houston erupted for 5 innings against White Sox curators Aaron Bomer and Craig Kimbrill, once again showing baseball’s best attack.

The big hit was Kyle Tucker’s two-time hit from Kimbrel, who has been fitting terribly with the Sox since coming from Cubs in late July.

“This is a great team,” said Astros manager Dusty Becker. “It doesn’t always work, but when it does it works great. You can’t count on getting this stuff from Kimbrel like that, so take it when you can.”

The only thing the White Sox brought back to Chicago was hope.

“I feel good because of the way we played today,” said Sox coach Tony La Russa. “(Game 1) was a different kind of game. Today we went out, we had two leads. The result for me is very misleading.

“Take the attitude, the level of effort, the talent we have and on Sunday I find a way to win. Then you lose (a match) and you win another. So it can be done. I’d rather be in the center, but I know our club. And hopefully we can win.”

If they do, he’ll be facing the first qualifying crowd at Guaranteed Rate Field since 2008.

“There’s nothing quite like being at home,” Anderson said. “I can’t wait to go back. I’m sure the place will be rocking.”

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