(SportsNetwork.com) – Collin McHugh will try to stay unbeaten on the season
when he takes the mound Monday for the AL West-leading Houston Astros in the
opener of a three-game series against the San Diego Padres.
McHugh has won his first three starts of the season and allowed two runs over
his initial two outings. The Astros continued to give McHugh a healthy amount
of run support in Tuesday’s 6-3 win at Seattle and he allowed three runs in
The right-hander’s earned run average went up slightly from 1.54 to 2.41 for
Houston, which has scored no less than five runs when McHugh pitches. McHugh
is 2-0 on the road and will face San Diego for the first time. The Astros are
7-0 in games started by Dallas Keuchel and McHugh.
Houston needed some late-game heroics Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of
the Oakland Athletics, as Evan Gattis broke out of an early season slump with
a two-run double in the top of the ninth inning. Gattis drove in four runs and
Jake Marisnick ended 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and three runs scored.
“I’m glad to finally contribute to a win, to come through with the hit that
puts us ahead,” Gattis said.
Tony Sipp threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings and Luke Gregerson picked up his first
save with a perfect ninth. Asher Wojciechowski lasted just four innings in the
start, charged with five runs and five hits.
The Astros are 10-0 when scoring 4-plus runs and have won seven of their last
eight games. They are 5-1 on a nine-game road trip and 7-2 away from Minute
San Diego dropped two of three meetings with the Los Angeles Dodgers this
weekend to begin a nine-game stay at Petco Park and snapped a four-game slide
with Sunday’s 3-1 victory.
Brandon Morrow earned his first win of the season (1-0) by holding the rival
Dodgers to a run across seven innings with four strikeouts and a walk. Joaquin
Benoit relieved Morrow with a scoreless eighth and closer Craig Kimbrel
collected his sixth save with two K’s in the ninth.
“In these games, against division rivals, the Dodgers, a lot of it is
momentum,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “A lot of that is from what happens
offensively. Obviously Brandon did his part to keep the momentum on our side.”
Morrow won for the first time since last April as a member of Toronto. He had
been battling injuries the past few seasons.
“I’m healthy now, so it feels good to go out there and pitch good ballgames,”
Derek Norris homered and added an RBI double, while Alexi Amarista went deep
for the Padres.
San Diego will also host Colorado for three games and hopes James Shields can
stay unbeaten when he toes the rubber Monday. Shields is 2-0 with a 3.24
earned run average and did not record a decision in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to
the Rockies. He lasted six innings and gave up three runs with a season-high
Shields had won his previous two outings. The right-hander will make his fifth
career start against Houston and is 2-1 with a 1.74 ERA.
The Padres and Astros haven’t met since the 2012 campaign. San Diego has won
three straight and eight of the last 11 matchups between the clubs.