Rain delay doesn't dampen Astros, McHugh
Houston righty tosses four more solid innings after 49-minute delay following second
KANSAS CITY -- A 49-minute rain delay after the second inning of Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Thursday night did little to slow down the Astros.
Collin McHugh stayed in the game following the delay and pitched four more innings to lead Houston to a 5-2 win. He gave up two runs on four hits in six innings, striking out one.
Royals starter Yordano Ventura came out of the game after the delay and was replaced by Chris Young.
The Astros, who led 3-1 when the game was delayed, got a George Springer homer in the fifth and a Colby Rasmus homer in the eighth to swipe home-field advantage in the ALDS from the top-seeded Royals.
Houston manager A.J. Hinch said the Astros have a "soft rule" about a one-hour delay being the longest amount of time he'll let a starting pitcher simmer.
"It was starting to get to that point," Hinch said. "But McHugh, it goes pitcher by pitcher. I think the key is knowing your guys, knowing a little bit of delivery, a little bit of arm action, a little bit of comfort with where he was.
"We checked in with him a couple times. But he was never really coming out of that game. I paid attention more so after the innings or after the delay. The first inning after [he came] back [out] was about as good an inning as he had the whole night. I would say where it came into play was a little bit more the 90-pitch mark. When he got through the sixth and we have a fresh 'pen that's matched up pretty well against them, I paid a little bit of attention to the delay at that point."
Kansas City manager Ned Yost said an hour was too long a break for Ventura.
"We were considering bringing him back [for] the fourth game, and when he sat there, [pitching coach] Dave [Eiland] and I said, 'OK, 50 minutes, max, for him,'" Yost said. "Forty-five for a young guy is more like our number. But it was pushing 60 minutes there. So we made the decision to go with Chris Young, and he came in and did a nice job for us."
During the start of the rain delay when the tarp was being unrolled, a member of the Kauffman Stadium grounds crew appeared to get trapped momentarily underneath the tubing in which the tarp is wrapped. The Royals indicated that he was examined by a physician and that he was OK.