Collin McHugh has gotten almost no offensive support in his last three starts. He'll have to hope that his next one isn't coming one day too late to change that trend.
Following his team's highest-scoring game of the season, McHugh looks to give the Houston Astros a second straight win over the New York Yankees as well as the returning Michael Pineda on Wednesday in the Bronx.
McHugh (13-7, 3.96 ERA) has gone 1-2 in his last four outings despite a 1.67 ERA. The right-hander, who pitched seven innings and gave up one run in a 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday, has received no runs of support in his last two games and one in his past three.
McHugh, who's allowed two or fewer runs six times in his previous seven outings, won his only start against the Yankees 3-1 at home June 28 with eight innings of two-hit, one-run ball.
He'll look to turn in the third straight scoreless performance by a Houston starter in this series. Scott Feldman went eight innings in Monday's 1-0 loss and Dallas Keuchel pitched seven and allowed three hits Tuesday.
Astros starters have given up two or fewer runs in 17 of the past 19 games. Houston boasts the best ERA in the AL at 3.32.
McHugh won't need to be nearly that good if the Astros (70-57) can duplicate their latest offensive performance. Houston pounded Ivan Nova and went on to a 15-1 victory Tuesday, one night after managing four hits.
''We needed an offensive outburst like that,'' said manager A.J. Hinch, whose team had scored 17 runs in its previous eight games.
Carlos Gomez and Evan Gattis each homered and drove in four runs for the Astros, winners of six of eight and nine of 13. Gattis is batting .333 in his past nine games and .409 in six career contests against New York.
Wednesday's game could be testy after Gomez jawed with players in New York's dugout after flipping his bat aside when he flied out in the sixth inning, then stood nose to nose with catcher John Ryan Murphy before they were separated. Both benches and bullpens emptied, but the teams quickly went their respective ways without any pushing or shoving.
''I don't mean to disrespect anybody,'' Gomez said. ''If you're screaming at me, I'm going to scream at you back.''
''I just told him, `Play the game right,''' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ''Show a little professionalism to the pitcher.''
The return of Pineda (9-7, 3.97) from a DL stint due to a forearm strain appears timely for the Yankees with CC Sabathia headed to the disabled list with a knee problem. It's anybody's guess, though, what the right-hander will deliver.
Pineda's season-long inconsistency continued in his last two starts July 18 and 24, as he gave up nine runs in 11 2-3 innings in losses to Seattle and Minnesota. Those efforts followed a three-start stretch in which he posted a 1.25 ERA - the first being an eight-inning effort as he allowed two earned runs opposite McHugh on June 28 to suffer the defeat.
The right-hander has posted a 2.57 ERA in two career starts against the Astros. He owns the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the majors among pitchers who have thrown at least 100 innings (117/15).
New York (69-56) has lost four of six, scoring 16 runs, and fell out of a first-place tie with Toronto in the AL East with the latest loss.
Carlos Correa has recorded two doubles in three at-bats against Pineda.