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HOU@LAA: Bedard pitches seven innings of one-run ball

The Astros return to Minute Maid Park on Friday, and are in need of some much needed home cooking.

Houston just barely avoided a winless six-game road trip by striking for six runs in the ninth inning for the comeback victory against the Mariners on Wednesday.

The win, however, doesn't overshadow the struggles the club endured on the road. Until that final frame, the Astros managed to score a grand total of seven runs in the first five games of the road trip.

They'll face a resurgent White Sox team, which has won three of four, and is coming off a tough stretch of their own in which they lost 10 of 11.

Taking the mound for the Astros will be Erik Bedard, who is coming off a tough outing in Kansas City. Bedard had allowed two runs or less in six straight starts before surrendering six against the Royals.

In that start, the southpaw allowed eight hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings.

Chris Sale starts for the White Sox, with his outing originally scheduled for Wednesday before weather postponed the game.

Sale, like Bedard, is coming off a tough start after a string of good ones. The White Sox lefty allowed four runs in his last outing against Oakland, and had surrendered the same number of runs in his previous four starts.

That outing against the Athletics snapped a string of seven straight starts where Sale allowed two earned runs or less.

Sale was undone by a grand slam by Josh Donaldson in what would be Sale's only major mistake of the night.

"Just one pitch came back to bite me," Sale said. "It just kept going. It shows you how important one pitch can be in a ballgame."

Friday will mark the third game for the White Sox southpaw after returning from mild tendinitis earlier in the month.

"It's nice to get back out there and just be a part of the rotation again," Sale said. "Obviously, there are going to be some things that are going to come up that we're going to have to handle. We're not looking forward to that. We're not planning on that, but it's nice to get back out there."

White Sox: Chicago to trot out four lefties
• Wednesday's postponement marked the fourth time this season that a game has had to be rescheduled at U.S. Cellular Field. That's the most since 2008, when there were five such occurrences.

Because of the postponement, the White Sox have had to alter their rotation plans to adjust.

Sale will pitch Friday, and left-handers John Danks, Hector Santiago and Jose Quintana will follow.

Getting bumped in the process is Dylan Axelrod, who had his start moved to what will likely be Tuesday.

• The White Sox have won three of their last four, and a big reason has been the resurgence of their offense.

Chicago has scored 23 runs in their last four games, and have hit eight home runs during that streak. This is coming off a 17-game stretch in which the White Sox hit only five home runs.

Astros: Club looking to build from tough stretch
• After winning seven of eight in their best stretch of the season, the Astros had suddenly found themselves in the midst of a five-game losing skid.

"This is a challenging time, but there will be more challenging times as the season goes along. As their careers go on, you will have challenging times, and it's the guys who are able to come out on the other side that end up having ultimate success," Astros manager Bo Porter said prior to the club's 6-1 win against the Mariners.

This stretch has been helped by seven errors on defense, including two in Wednesday's night victory.

"It's something that we talked about early back in Spring Training," Porter said. "We are all men, one of the first steps to being a man is when you do something that is not right is to just stand up and accept responsibility for it."

• Astros starters have posted a 3.11 ERA in 27 games since May 15, which ranks 2nd in the American League in that span. They trail only Oakland during that time frame.

• Bedard's start will mark his 201st career Major League start. He has 64 career victories, compared to the 65 combined wins among the Astros' other four starters.

Worth Noting
Bedard will make his 10th career start against the White Sox on Friday. Bedard is 3-2 with a 3.90 ERA in his previous nine career starts against the White Sox, with 55 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings.

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