Astros snap six-game skid with 3-2 win over Rangers
HOUSTON (AP) Houston's Collin McHugh didn't pitch his best Friday night and knew some luck was on his side to escape with a win.
Jose Altuve and rookie Carlos Correa drove in a run apiece to help Houston to an early lead and the Astros held on for a 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers to snap a six-game skid.
McHugh (10-5) tied a career high by allowing 11 hits in six innings, but they were all singles and amounted to just one run.
''(Catcher) Jason (Castro) and I both pride ourselves on limiting the damage as much as possible,'' McHugh said. ''We got kind of fortunate because they were all singles.''
The Rangers finished with 15 hits, which were the most in franchise history when scoring two runs or fewer.
''That was incredible to have that many hits and not create any runs for them,'' Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. ''We pitched out of a few jams today. They swung the bats well. We swung the bats very well early in the game. That wasn't your typical 3-2 game.''
The Astros were up by one with no outs in the third when Jake Marisnick and Altuve hit back-to-back doubles to push Houston's lead to 2-0. Marwin Gonzalez singled, but Altuve couldn't beat the throw home that allowed Gonzalez to advance to second. Correa's single sent Gonzalez home to make it 3-0.
Texas starter Martin Perez (0-1) yielded nine hits and three runs in five innings in his return from Tommy John surgery. Perez, who was starting in the majors for the first time since May 10, 2014, made six rehabilitation appearances in the minors before coming off the disabled list on Friday.
The Rangers finally got an extra-base hit on a triple by Rougned Odor in the seventh inning, but he was left stranded. Texas added doubles by Mitch Moreland, who finished with three hits, and Elvis Andrus in the eighth to get within 3-2.
But Luke Gregerson pitched a scoreless ninth for his 19th save.
The Rangers had at least one man on base in every inning except the fourth and often had multiple players on, but missed chance after chance to score, leaving 10 stranded.
McHugh's night started out a bit shaky. Odor singled with one out in the first, but was out trying to stretch it into a double. It was the first of four straight singles by Texas in the inning, but Josh Hamilton grounded out after that to allow McHugh to escape the jam.
''It's been our nemesis throughout this stretch ... not being able to get the big hit when we need it,'' Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. ''You have to believe if you put up 15 hits as a team, we are going to score some runs.''
Evan Gattis tripled to center field to start Houston's second. Gattis has developed a knack for hitting balls to the deepest part of Minute Maid Park and leads the Astros with five triples after hitting just one in his first two seasons combined.
A one-out single by L.J. Hoes scored Gattis to put the Astros up 1-0.
Delino DeShields singled to start the third, but was doubled off first on a fly out by Odor when DeShields didn't realize where the ball went. Prince Fielder followed with a single, but McHugh retired Adrian Beltre to end the threat.
The Rangers had piled up nine hits - all singles - in the first five innings but had nothing to show for it. Beltre led off the sixth with another one before Moreland followed with yet one more, this one to right field. But right fielder Colby Rasmus overthrew first base for an error on the play that allowed Beltre to score and get Texas within 3-1.
Rangers: C Carlos Corporan was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 13, with a sprained left thumb. He had struggled with the injury for two weeks and re-aggravated it during the team's workout on Thursday. The Rangers recalled C Tomas Telis from Triple-A Round Rock to take his spot on the roster.
Astros: 1B Chris Carter left the game in the second inning after spraining his right ankle when he landed awkwardly after making a catch. He said after the game that his ankle was sore and swollen and that he'd likely miss Saturday's game. ... INF Jed Lowrie (thumb surgery) is getting close to returning and will begin a rehabilitation assignment in the next few days. He hasn't played since April 27.
Houston's Scott Feldman will come off the disabled list to oppose Colby Lewis when the series continues on Saturday. Feldman has been out since May 27 after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.