Just another team, just another series.
But for first baseman Paul Konerko and catcher A.J. Pierzynski, seeing the Astros will always make them remember one of the most special moments of their careers.
Konerko and Pierzynski are the only two remaining players from the White Sox team that beat the Astros to win the 2005 World Series. Chicago visited Houston for two exhibition games before the start of the regular season, the first time the team had been there since winning the World Series title.
The White Sox will try to rebound after dropping the first game of the series Friday night when they send Chris Sale to the mound Saturday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. Sale is 7-2 with a 2.30 ERA this season, and he has been especially dominant of late. In his last three starts, Sale is 3-0 with a 1.16 ERA and 29 strikeouts.
"No one's hitting well off him," said Astros manager Brad Mills.
While Sale has thrived as a starter this season, he continues to work on developing his changeup. He regularly relies on his fastball and slider, but has started to re-incorporate a changeup he didn't use much during his two seasons out of the bullpen.
"Having a third pitch is so big now," Sale said. "You can't go out there as a starter and just have two pitches. It's something I've been trying to build on and get better. I want to have a third pitch to throw to help me get deeper in games."
Houston will hand the ball to Jordan Lyles, who picked up his first win of the season in his last start against the Reds. Lyles allowed two runs over seven innings in that outing, striking out three and walking two. The Astros are 1-4 in Lyles' five starts this season.
The Astros enter Saturday's game having lost 10 of their last 13 games, despite taking the series opener, 8-3, on Friday night.
White Sox: Morel not ready to return
Third baseman Brent Morel took himself out of Thursday night's rehab assignment game after only one at-bat.
Morel, who was playing for Triple-A Charlotte in Toledo, re-aggravated his lumbar back strain during the game, and will likely have it reexamined in the next couple of days. Morel hasn't played since May 17.
Veteran Orlando Hudson will remain at third during Morel's absence. The White Sox have a 10-4 record in the games started by Hudson at third.
When the White Sox placed outfielder Kosuke Fukudome on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, they purchased Jordan Danks' contract from Triple-A Charlotte. Danks' older brother, John, is a starting pitcher for Chicago. Jordan collected his first big league hit on Friday night with a single in his second at-bat.
Astros: Altuve continues to be Mr. Productive
Second baseman Jose Altuve has been solid for the Astros all season.
But as the season goes along, he continues to be more and more impressive.
Altuve is 18-for-42 (.429) in his last nine games, with three three-hit games and one four-hit game. Altuve has three doubles and two RBIs during the stretch. He's hitting a team-best .325 with three home runs and 19 RBIs this season.
Brett Wallace's home run Friday night gave him an RBI hit in three of his first five games for the Astros. Wallace has at least one hit in all five games, and he is 6-for-17 overall.
Sale has never started an Interleague game. He has a 3.00 ERA in eight career Interleague appearances.
Lyles is 0-2 with a 5.48 ERA in four career Interleague starts.