By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — Yoán Moncada came through with the go-ahead single in the eighth inning for the second straight game, and the Chicago White Sox rallied to beat the Houston Astros 4-3 on Tuesday night.
While the showdown between AL Cy Young Award contenders Dylan Cease and Justin Verlander didn’t live up to its billing, the White Sox came away with their fifth straight win. They moved within a game of AL Central leader Cleveland.
Moncada hit a tiebreaking two-run single in Monday’s 4-2 win. This time, Chicago had a runner on third when he singled to center against Héctor Neris (4-4) to make it 4-3.
Cease lasted five innings, allowing three runs and six hits. The 26-year-old right-hander had gone a major league-record 14 consecutive starts without allowing more than one earned run.
Verlander, tops in the majors in wins and ERA coming in, went seven innings. The two-time Cy Young Award winner gave up three runs and eight hits.
Pinch-hitter Gavin Sheets smacked a two-run double off Verlander with one out in the seventh that made it 3-3.
Jose Abreu had three hits for Chicago. Jimmy Lambert (1-2) worked around a single in the eighth by Mauricio Dubon, and Liam Hendriks secured his 27th save in 30 chances with a seven-pitch ninth.
Houston’s Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker hit back-to-back doubles in the third to give Houston a 2-1 lead after Jose Altuve got picked off second.
Altuve led off the fifth with a drive to left against Cease to make it 3-1.
Astros: LF Aledmys Díaz exited the game because of discomfort in his left groin. Diaz caught Yasmani Grandal’s line drive to end the third inning. He was replaced by Chas McCormick in the bottom of the fourth. … SS Jeremy Peña was back in the lineup after being scratched from Monday’s game because of neck tightness.
White Sox: OF Luis Robert (sprained left wrist) won’t need to go on the injured list and could return as soon as Wednesday, manager Tony La Russa said. Robert was out of the lineup for the fourth consecutive game.
The four-game series continues with Astros LHP Framber Valdez (11-4, 2.73 ERA) opposing White Sox RHP Michael Kopech (4-8, 3.18). Valdez tossed seven scoreless innings as Houston beat Texas 7-3 on Thursday. Kopech threw six no-hit innings and struck out a career-high 11 in Chicago’s 2-0 win over Detroit on Friday.
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