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Keuchel, McHugh likely to start this weekend

Astros ace 'check-marked all those boxes,' says Hinch; Harris also nearing return
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

PHILADELPHIA -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch said left-hander Dallas Keuchel and right-hander Collin McHugh will both throw in the bullpen Tuesday in advance of likely making starts this weekend in Detroit. Keuchel has missed nearly eight weeks because of neck discomfort and McHugh made his first start of the season Friday in Baltimore.

Keuchel (9-0, 1.67 ERA) has made two rehab starts and is aiming to make his first appearance for the Astros since June 2. He pitched five innings Friday for short-season Class A Tri-City, allowing one run and three hits and striking out five batters. He threw 62 pitches.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch said left-hander Dallas Keuchel and right-hander Collin McHugh will both throw in the bullpen Tuesday in advance of likely making starts this weekend in Detroit. Keuchel has missed nearly eight weeks because of neck discomfort and McHugh made his first start of the season Friday in Baltimore.

Keuchel (9-0, 1.67 ERA) has made two rehab starts and is aiming to make his first appearance for the Astros since June 2. He pitched five innings Friday for short-season Class A Tri-City, allowing one run and three hits and striking out five batters. He threw 62 pitches.

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"He had to go a little bit deeper than he had been before," Hinch said. "He put a little more energy into his outing. He was gearing himself towards more of that simulated Major League outing. He check-marked all those boxes."

Video: HOU@BAL: McHugh on his 2017 season debut

Meanwhile, reliever Will Harris, who's been on the disabled list with a bone bruise in his right shoulder, threw a bullpen session Sunday in Baltimore and will make a rehab start Wednesday. Harris, who hasn't pitched since July 5, is also earmarked to be activated this weekend in Detroit.

"I noticed him being gone in that bullpen," Hinch said. "He makes a lot of things go [around] in the bullpen when it comes to his availability."

It's not yet determined at which Minor League affiliate Harris will pitch, but he will start so his routine can be monitored better. He said he hasn't started a game since he was 17 or 18.

"I'm going to go light the next couple of days and on Wednesday go somewhere to get real game action and make sure everything is still good and get some adrenaline running," Harris said. "We plan on everything going fine."

• Third baseman Colin Moran, who suffered facial fractures when he fouled a ball off his face Saturday, has been released from the hospital in Baltimore and is driving back to Houston, where he will undergo surgery later this week to repair a cheekbone fracture. Moran hasn't been cleared to fly.

• Astros bench coach Alex Cora is expected to rejoin the team Tuesday. Monday marked the fourth consecutive game he's missed after his wife gave birth to twins. Alex Cintron, the team's Spanish-language interpreter, has been serving as an extra coach in the dugout in Cora's absence.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter..

Houston Astros, Will Harris, Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh