It will be up to left-handed pitcher John Danks to lead the White Sox to a sweep of their first series of the season's second half.
After beating the Astros, 4-3, on Saturday night, the White Sox continued to crawl toward .500, and a sweep against Houston on Sunday would be a large step in that direction. Chicago hasn't swept a team since winning three straight against Cleveland from May 26-28.
Manager Robin Ventura was asked about realistic expectations for his team in the second half.
"These guys are going to come out and compete and try to win every game and grind every at-bat," Ventura said. "That's all you can ask these guys to do. I'm not going to sit here in July and start making statements that you are going to make the playoffs or not make the playoffs."
The outing will be Danks' 20th start of the season and 10th at home. He's 8-6 with a 3.99 ERA. In his last 10 starts, however, he's 5-2 with a 2.69 ERA.
He'll be facing the Astros and their up-and-down pitcher Jarred Cosart, who is 9-6 with a 4.17 ERA.
Cosart's last start came against the Rangers when he gave up five runs in as many innings while the offense carried the Astros to victory. It was Cosart's first win against an American League West opponent.
"I thought I was pretty bad," Cosart said after the outing. "Apparently, I don't do very well against them, looking at what I saw today. It's pretty glaring stuff. It's just lack of execution. I get ahead of guys and can't put them away and get behind guys and throw a quickie and they get a hit."
His first start of the second half will be about making sure the Astros don't get swept.
White Sox: Fatigue not a concern for Abreu
Jose Abreu missed 14 games this season because of a left ankle injury that sent him to the disabled list on May 18. Even without those games, the Major League leader in home runs is certain to surpass his single-season career high in games played for Cienfuegos of Cuba.
Ventura joked pregame Saturday that when he reaches somewhere around 100 games, Abreu will be shut down. But quickly moving to a more serious and realistic angle to the question, neither Abreu nor Ventura seem worried about fatigue setting in as the season progresses.
"So far we've played half of the season right here, and here we play 162 games," said Abreu through interpreter and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz, making reference to the 96-game season in Cuba. "I just feel like we've got to continue to work hard and stay mentally tough and continue to be a good person so you can get the results that you want at the end of the season. But I don't think the length is going to affect my performance or anything like that."
Astros: Oberholtzer to start Tuesday
Manager Bo Porter has shuffled his pitching rotation for the Astros' upcoming series in Oakland.
Brett Oberholtzer will start Tuesday's series opener, and will be followed by Brad Peacock andScott Feldman on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
Right-hander Collin McHugh was slated to make his return from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday after sustaining a middle finger nail avulsion on his pitching hand, but will instead make a rehab start that day with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The decision came after McHugh threw a bullpen session in Chicago on Friday. Porter didn't say if McHugh tweaked the injury during the session, but said he didn't want to rush the righty back.
"He had to come out of the game because of the finger the last time," Porter said. "Obviously, that led into the All-Star break and we had more time to give it time to heal and we knew we were going to have a longer break, so we weren't at risk of our bullpen getting taxed at that time. Whereas, when you look at it being the first game of a series and we don't have an off-day within that stretch, we'd rather him make a rehab start [and] know that there's no ill effect, no setback. Then we'll put him back in the rotation after that."
• The White Sox signed 30 of their first 31 picks from the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. The lone exception was 14th-rounder Bryce Montes De Oca, a 6-foot-7 high school right-hander from Lawrence, Kan.
• Porter said Saturday that Marwin Gonzalez and Enrique Hernandez will balance time at shortstop.
Mike Vernon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.