Astros rally for another win, 6-4 over Baltimore
HOUSTON (AP) Houston starter Collin McHugh didn't get down after giving up four runs in the second inning.
However, it was much easier to shake off that tough inning after the Astros put up five runs in the third to take the lead and roll to a 6-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.
Evan Gattis hit a three-run homer and Luis Valbuena added a go-ahead solo shot in the big third for the Astros.
''You can either sulk and be mad at yourself that you gave up the lead, or you can hang in there and see our team do some pretty amazing things which they've done,'' McHugh said.
The Astros, who lead the American League with a 33-20 record, were in a big hole early after the four-run second inning by the Orioles. The big third gave Houston its major league-leading 17th comeback win this year.
They lead the majors with 71 homers and are unstoppable in multi-homer games, going 20-0.
''There have been good comebacks, (we've) come back from a lot. I'm just glad we could get him some runs and we've got a potent offense,'' Gattis said.
Houston trailed by three when the homer by Gattis made it 4-all and the Astros went back-to-back when Valbuena homered to right to put Houston on top. The Astros added an insurance run in the eighth.
McHugh (6-2) settled down after giving up four runs in the second, and the last out of that inning was the first of eight straight and 15 of 16 he retired before being replaced by Pat Neshek for the eighth inning.
''If I would have said he would go seven innings after the first hour of this game I think we all would have been a little surprised, (McHugh) included,'' manager A.J. Hinch said. ''For him to battle through that was a pretty good outing.''
Baltimore rookie Mike Wright (2-1) yielded eight hits and five runs in five innings after allowing just three runs combined in his first three starts.
''Mike made a lot of mistakes with his breaking ball,'' manager Buck Showalter said. ''I don't think they hit maybe one ball hard off his fastball all night. It's a lesson learned.''
Neshek pitched a perfect eighth before Delmon Young gave Baltimore its first hit since the second on a single off Luke Gregerson with one out in the ninth. But he struck out the next two batters for his 15th save.
George Springer, Jose Altuve and Preston Tucker hit consecutive singles with one out in the third inning to cut the lead to 4-1 before the homer by Gattis.
Chris Davis got things going by drawing a leadoff walk in the second inning, but he was out at second on a force play on a ball hit by Young. Jimmy Paredes singled before a single by Steve Pearce scored Young to make it 1-0.
Ryan Flaherty followed with his second triple in two games to send two more home. Manny Machado's two-out RBI single pushed the lead to 4-0. McHugh couldn't handle a soft dribbler by Travis Snider for a single before he finally escaped the inning when he struck out Jones, who was the ninth batter of the frame.
The only baserunner McHugh allowed after the second inning came on a walk by Snider with one out in the fifth, but Jones grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Astros loaded the bases with one out in the second after singles by Gattis and Chris Carter and walk by Hank Conger. Wright escaped the jam when Gonzalez grounded into a double play. The hit by Carter extended his hitting streak to a season-high 10 games.
Jones was back in center field after sitting out two games because of a sprained left ankle and playing designated hitter on Monday in the opener of the series.
A fan sitting in the front row down the right field line got hit in the face with a foul ball on Tuesday night. The man was OK, but most of the right side of his face was swollen, red and beginning to bruise when he smiled as he posed for a picture with the ball.
Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy missed the second straight game with soreness on his left side. He is day to day. ... C Matt Wieters was scheduled to catch Bud Norris (bronchitis) at Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday in a rehabilitation game for both players, but the game was rained out. Showalter said they will play in the first game of a double-header for the team on Wednesday. Wieters, who has been out since Tommy John surgery last June, is eligible to come off the 60-day DL on Thursday.
Astros: C Jason Castro was out of the lineup after being plunked on the side of his right knee on Monday night. Hinch said he was sore but OK and he wasn't sure if he'd start on Wednesday.
Houston rookie Lance McCullers will make his fourth major league start in the third game of this four-game series, against Miguel Gonzalez. McCullers has struck out at least five batters in each of his first three starts to become the first Astros rookie to do so since J.R. Richard in 1971.