PHOENIX -- Astros starter Collin McHugh pitched a complete-game gem and his club's offense lit up D-backs starter Edwin Escobar in his first Major League start, striking for eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits against the left-hander in an 8-3 win over Arizona on Monday afternoon at Chase Field.McHugh
PHOENIX -- Astros starter Collin McHugh pitched a complete-game gem and his club's offense lit up D-backs starter Edwin Escobar in his first Major League start, striking for eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits against the left-hander in an 8-3 win over Arizona on Monday afternoon at Chase Field.
McHugh (5-4) cruised to his first win in three weeks, allowing three runs on five hits in his first career complete game, the first by a Houston starter this season. The right-hander retired the side in order five times and struck out eight in leading the Astros to their sixth win in seven games.
"We needed him to go as long as he could today given our bullpen, the extra-inning game yesterday," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "Not only did he give us length, but he gave us quality and really was in control the whole game."
Houston scored four runs in the second, two in the third and another pair in the fourth, chasing Escobar after 3 1/3 innings. Five players collected multiple hits as the Astros won for the sixth time in seven games. Jason Castro drove in three runs, reaching base four times, and Carlos Correa plated a pair. George Springer also reached base four times, collecting a trio of singles.
D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt homered in the first inning, providing their only run until Jean Segura's RBI triple in the eighth. Jake Lamb also homered as Arizona lost for the 12th time in 18 games.
"He tightened it up, and he used all portions of the zone," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of McHugh. "He bounced a bunch of breaking balls that we swung at. He did a nice job. He did a real nice job."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Who needs homers?: For the first time in nearly two years, the Astros scored as many as eight runs without the benefit of a home run. That's because every position player, with the exception of Marwin Gonzalez, had at least one hit. Springer (3-for-4) led the way, and Jose Altuve, Correa, Tyler White and Castro each had two hits.
"I thought about that in the ninth inning. I was like, 'Wow, we didn't hit a home run and we scored a lot of runs,'" Correa said. "That says a lot about our offense. We're obviously clicking right now. The offense is doing a great job, and the pitching is doing an outstanding job. So hopefully we can keep it going, we can be consistent and keep winning ballgames." More >
Rocky first start: Escobar was recalled from Triple-A Reno to take the rotation spot of injured starter Rubby De La Rosa (right UCL sprain), and it didn't turn out well for the left-hander, whose only prior big league experience came in two relief appearances for the Red Sox in 2014. He escaped the first inning, stranding runners on second and third, but it fell apart from there. Escobar hit two batters and threw 87 pitches despite not making it out of the fourth.
"We get four days of work before he starts again, so we'll see what we can do to tighten it up a little bit," Hale said. "I think he's going to help us, this just was a tough one." More >
McHugh in control: McHugh won for the first time since May 8 by throwing his first career complete game on 108 pitches. It's the first complete by an Astros starting pitcher since Mike Fiers' no-hitter last Aug. 21 against the Dodgers, a span of 90 games. He's 4-1 with a 3.80 ERA in his past seven starts.
"It feels good," McHugh said. "Obviously, it's what every starter wants every time out. They're a little more rare these days, so to be able to do it -- especially on a day like this, when our bullpen's been holding us up, been our crutch for the last week or so. They've been doing a great job, so to be able to give them a blow, it means a lot." More >
Splash down, heating up: Goldschmidt's home run in the first was the second time in his career he hit one directly into the pool in right-center field. He did it in 2014, also against Houston. After seeing his average dip as low as .220 earlier this month, Goldschmidt has been on a tear this homestand. He is 6-for-11 in the four games at Chase Field, raising his season average to .258.
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"I think we have a chance to put a good little run together to play good baseball. We're getting contributions from the entire offense. Our bullpen has settled in, our rotation is giving us good starts. So when you do that, with the talent we have, we have a chance to put a few good weeks together." -- Hinch
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Altuve's triple in the fourth inning was the 2,000th in franchise history.
Astros: Right-hander Lance McCullers makes his fourth start of the season when the Astros wrap up a two-game set at Chase Field at 2:40 p.m. CT Tuesday. The game will also mark the return of center fielder Carlos Gomez from the 15-day disabled list.
D-backs: Left-hander Patrick Corbin takes the mound in the final of two games against the Astros at Chase Field at 12:40 p.m. MST before the teams travel to Houston for two more. Corbin had a streak of three quality starts snapped last time out when he lost in Pittsburgh.
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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.