MLB: Astros pound Pelfrey, Twins
HOUSTON -- Right-hander Collin McHugh carried a shutout into the eighth inning and rode a jolting display of power in the Houston Astros' 8-0 win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.
HOUSTON - Right-hander Collin McHugh carried a shutout into the eighth inning and rode a jolting display of power in the Houston Astros’ 8-0 win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.
Coming off a stellar month in which he posted a 1.89 ERA over five quality starts, McHugh (15-7) scattered seven hits and one walk over 7 2/3 innings while recording six strikeouts. He allowed consecutive runners in the first and third innings, utilizing his defense to escape the first jam and his own effective pitching to snuff the second rally.
Left fielder Colby Rasmus and catcher Hank Conger provided the thump for the Astros (74-61) with timely homers. Conger matched his career high of five RBIs for Houston, which welcomed back right fielder George Springer (1-for-4) from a prolonged stint on the disabled list.
The Twins (69-65) dropped consecutive games for the first time since suffering a three-game sweep to the New York Yankees on Aug. 17-19.
Springer made an immediate impact in his first game since July 1, slapping an opposite-field single to right field leading off the first inning before scampering to third base when second baseman Jose Altuve followed with his own opposite-field single to right. Springer scored the first run when shortstop Carlos Correa reached on a fielder’s choice.
That burst seemed to spark the Astros, who followed with two runs in the second inning via a two-run homer from Rasmus, his 18th, before breaking things open with two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth.
Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey (6-9) was on the brink of escape after loading the bases with three successive singles to open the frame. He recovered to strike out both Rasmus and first baseman Luis Valbuena before falling behind in the count 2-0 to Conger, who crushed the third pitch out to left field for a grand slam and his 10th home run this season.
Conger became the 10th Houston player with at least 10 home runs this season, helping the Astros set a club record. Pelfrey did not return for the fifth, leaving saddled with a 7-0 deficit having allowed eight hits.
NOTES: The Astros activated RF George Springer from the 15-day disabled list, with manager A.J. Hinch inserting Springer into the lineup atop the batting order. Springer missed 53 games after suffering a right wrist fracture on July 1, and the Astros went 26-27 without him. He made five rehab appearances for Double-A Corpus Christi, going 5-for-18 with four runs scored, two walks, a double and a stolen base. ... Twins CF Aaron Hicks was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list after missing 13 games with a left hamstring strain. Hicks appeared in four games with Triple-A Rochester, batting .412 with two doubles and one home run. ... The Astros recalled RHP Michael Feliz from Double-A Corpus Christi. Feliz was 7-4 with a 2.83 ERA in 23 games combined with the Hooks and High A Lancaster. ... The Twins recalled LHP Logan Darnell from Triple-A Rochester, where he went 5-1 with a 2.78 ERA in 35 games (seven starts) with the Red Wings.