- Associated Press - Sunday, July 3, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) - Collin McHugh struggled with command, manager A.J. Hinch was ejected and the Houston Astros lost their first series since June 10-12 on Sunday.

McHugh allowed five hits and two runs while walking four with nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings before Hinch was ejected after arguing about pitches inside to Evan Gattis in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

Jose Quintana pitched seven solid innings to get his first win in almost two months, and Jose Abreu had two hits and an RBI to lead the White Sox to the victory which allowed them to take the series 2-1 and snap Houston’s five-game series winning streak.

Things got testy late in this one after Chris Devenski plunked Abreu in the left shoulder with two outs in the seventh inning. Abreu remained at the plate and stared at Devenski until an umpire escorted him to first base.

With two outs in the bottom of the inning Quintana threw behind Evan Gattis twice to earn a warning from home plate umpire Ryan Blakney. Hinch immediately dashed out of the dugout after the second one and got in Blakney’s face repeatedly yelling: “he threw behind him,” and pointing behind Gattis. He was soon tossed and things settled down after that.

Quintana insisted that he didn’t purposely throw behind Gattis.

“I tried to go inside and I missed the spot,” he said. “A couple of time today I missed in too much. That’s all.”

The Astros disagreed.

“To not eject him is a choice they made that I didn’t appreciate,” Hinch said of Quintana. “You’re not going to take two shots at our guys and have it not be a spectacle for the entire industry to see. I respect the fact that they want to protect their players you can’t do it twice.”

Quintana (6-8) allowed two hits and one run while fanning four for his first win since May 8. Since then he’d gone 0-7 with a 4.58 ERA in nine starts.

George Springer hit a leadoff homer and drew a walk with no outs in the third. Quintana sailed through the rest of his day, retiring his last 15 batters before he was replaced by Nate Jones to start the eighth inning. Jones pitched a perfect eighth to make it 18 in a row before David Robertson allowed a single and walk before striking out rookie A.J. Reed for his 23rd save.

The White Sox trailed by 1 when Tim Anderson doubled with one out in the third inning and scored on a groundout by Adam Eaton to tie it up. Abreu followed with his single that put the White Sox on top 2-1.

McHugh hasn’t won since May 30, getting two losses and four no decisions since then.

“The walks are frustrating,” he said. “Didn’t have very good fastball command today so kind of had to rely on some of the off-speed stuff, more cutters than normal. Got some swings and misses but also put some guys on base with free passes.”

Brett Lawrie and Dioner Navarro added RBI singles in the eighth inning to push the lead to 4-1.

Springer gave Houston a 1-0 lead when he sent Quintana’s second pitch into the bullpen in right-center field for his third career leadoff home run.

Chicago had a chance to build the lead in the fifth after consecutive singles by Anderson and Eaton left runners at first and third with one out. But McHugh struck out Abreu and Todd Frazier to end the threat.

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: 1B Justin Morneau, who has been out all season after elbow surgery in December, is scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Charlotte on Monday. Manager Robin Ventura doesn’t yet have a timetable on how long he’ll be there.

UP NEXT

White Sox: James Shields (3-9, 5.85) is scheduled to start when Chicago opens a series against the Yankees on Monday. Shields looks to get back on track after going 1-2 with an 11.07 ERA in his last five starts.

Astros: Lance McCullers (3-2, 3.91) will start on Monday in the opener against Seattle after missing his last start with a blister on his right index finger. McCullers has been great in his short career, going 6-2 with a 2.03 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 15 starts.

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