HOUSTON (AP) - Houston starter Collin McHugh cruised through five innings Friday night before he ran into trouble against the White Sox.
McHugh’s struggles with command caught up with him in the sixth inning and Chicago scored four runs to set up a 7-2 win.
Chicago trailed by two and had managed just one hit off of McHugh (2-2) through the five innings before Adam Dunn launched a soaring three-run homer into the second deck in right field.
The previous hitter, Jose Abreu, was in an 0-2 hole when McHugh plunked him with an off-speed pitch. Before that, Conor Gillaspie reached on a walk in which McHugh threw four of the last five pitches in the at-bat for balls.
“Coming in, from the get-go, I knew my stuff was good, but my command was spotty at best,” McHugh said. “And it came back to bite me in that inning.”
Dunn, who was 0 for 11 before his home run, added a double in the ninth inning.
After Dunn’s 444-foot shot put the White Sox up 3-2, Dayan Viciedo doubled to deep left center on the very next pitch. By then, Astros manager Bo Porter had seen enough.
“It looked like he was in complete control there for five innings,” Porter said. “But for whatever reason, there in the sixth, it looked like he lost a little bit of attack. He fell behind and (put) something in there that (Dunn) could put a charge in.”
McHugh allowed four runs on three hits, striking out seven in 5 1-3 innings for his second straight loss after starting the season 2-0.
McHugh was replaced by Josh Zeid, who intentionally walked Alejandro De Aza with two outs before allowing Tyler Flowers’ RBI single.
“We had a couple of at-bats tonight where we felt like we were one pitch away,” Porter said. “There were a couple of pitches in spots that we wish we could have back.”
Gillaspie drove in two runs with a double in Chicago’s three-run eighth inning.
Rookie George Springer and Jason Castro each had an RBI for the Astros. Chris Carter added a double and a single to extend his hitting streak to a season-high six games. He has improved in May after hitting just .153 in April.
Jonathan Villar and Jose Altuve hit consecutive singles to start Houston’s fifth inning and Villar advanced to third on an error by Dayan Viciedo on Altuve’s hit. Villar scored on a groundout by Springer to put the Astros up 1-0.
Castro’s two-out single made it 2-0. Matt Dominguez singled to put runners at first and second, but starter Jose Quintana retired Jesus Guzman on a liner to center to limit the damage.
Quintana (2-3) allowed two runs on seven hits in five innings for his first win since April 8.
“We ran his pitch count up and got into the bullpen,” Porter said. “We just weren’t able to get the big hits to give ourselves some distance from them.”
De Aza singled to start the third inning for Chicago’s first hit and Moises Sierra walked with one out. McHugh then retired nine of the next 10 batters, with the only baserunner coming on a walk by Flowers with two outs in the fifth.
NOTES: The series continues Saturday when Houston’s Jarred Cosart opposes Hector Noesi. … Chicago manager Robin Ventura planned to give Abreu a day off to rest his sore left ankle. But Abreu didn’t want to sit out so Ventura played him at designated hitter on Friday night.
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