Houston at Seattle

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Houston (7-14) «2100001105101
Seattle (7-13)000000200251

Astros' McHugh fans 12, earns first win; M's skid hits eight

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Collin McHugh didn't know he was starting Tuesday until late the night before. When he took the mound, he surprised just about everyone with his performance.

McHugh struck out a career-high 12 in his season debut to lead the Houston Astros to a 5-2 victory against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night, extending Seattle's losing streak to eight games.

McHugh (1-0) was told he was being called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday and flew to Seattle. It wasn't until he got to the team hotel late Monday night that he found out he was going to start for the Astros on Tuesday.

Before the game, Houston coach Bo Porter characterized McHugh as a "pitch to contact guy," but the Mariners made almost no contact. McHugh struck out the first three batters he faced to set the tone for his first win in 10 career starts.

"That was outstanding. That's what you call seizing the opportunity," Porter said.

The right-hander didn't walk a batter, giving up three hits in 6 2/3 shutout innings.

"I don't think anybody prepares to go out and strike out a bunch of people. But I knew I had pretty decent command today with two or three pitches," McHugh said. "It was really good to kind of get the proverbial gorilla off your back with a 'W.' "

McHugh's stuff caught the Mariners off guard as well, as they only reached second once against him.

"He was a little different than the scouting report we got. He was 94 [miles an hour] with a pretty good cut slider," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He threw exceptionally well tonight."

The Astros offense gave McHugh plenty to work with, as Jason Castro and Chris Carter each hit homers to give Houston a 3-0 lead after two innings.

Seattle starter Erasmo Ramirez (1-3) struck out eight over six innings and only allowed three hits, but they included the two costly home runs.

Three at-bats into the game, Castro just cleared the left-field wall for a two-run homer, his fourth. Carter followed in the second inning with a shot to left that landed in the second deck for his first home run of the year.

Seattle's Dustin Ackley tried to counter with a deep ball to left in the bottom of the second, but Matt Dominguez made a leaping catch at the wall to end the inning.

Dominguez added a home run of his own in the top of the seventh to give Houston a 4-0 lead.

The Astros have now won two straight after a seven-game losing streak, and their offense -- which entered Tuesday's game with a major league-worst .196 batting average -- is finally showing some signs of life.

"Once the whole offense is flowing like it is the last couple games, you kind of get in a little groove with it," Dominguez said. "It's been nice being able to score some runs."

McHugh's 12th strikeout came against Robinson Cano to leadoff the bottom of the seventh, but Porter brought on reliever Raul Valdes with two outs in the inning. McHugh had thrown 89 pitches, well above his high of 73 pitches in his minor league outings this year.

Valdes walked Kyle Seager and then gave up a two-run home run to Justin Smoak, Seattle's only offense of the game.

McHugh's call up came after Scott Feldman was placed on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. Feldman will miss at least one more start, possibly giving McHugh more chances to show what he can do.

"He didn't do anything to hurt his chances of sticking around," Porter said. "He definitely earned his keep."

Notes

The crowd of 10,466 was the fifth-lowest in Safeco Field history. Six of the seven lowest crowds at Safeco have been matchups with the Astros, all coming since the start of last season. ... Seattle RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (finger) was scheduled to pitch in a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Tacoma, but instead threw a simulated game at Safeco Field on Tuesday afternoon due to weather concerns. McClendon said the outing went well, and Iwakuma will have a rehab outing with Tacoma on Sunday. ... Astros RHP Lucas Harrell, designated for assignment on April 16, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

 
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Collin McHugh, who struck out nine in his MLB debut with the Mets in 2012, fans 12 in his debut for Houston.  (Getty Images)
Collin McHugh, who struck out nine in his MLB debut with the Mets in 2012, fans 12 in his debut for Houston. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Seattle

J. Smoak
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Houston

J. Castro
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Altuve, 2B4000101 .265
Dexter Fowler, CF4110112 .209
Jason Castro, C4222101 .213
George Springer, RF4000133 .200
Marc Krauss, 1B3000032 .156
   Jesus Guzman, 1B2010012 .211
Alex Presley, LF4020000 .224
Chris Carter, DH4122011 .148
Matt Dominguez, 3B4111004 .217
Jonathan Villar, SS4010024 .188
Collin McHugh, P0000000 .000
   Raul Valdes, P0000000 .000
   Anthony Bass, P0000000 .000
   Josh Fields, P0000000 .000
Totals375105411  
Batting
HR - Jason Castro (4, Ramirez), Chris Carter (1, Ramirez), Matt Dominguez (4, Leone)
RBI - Jason Castro 2 (9), Chris Carter 2 (4), Matt Dominguez (9)
SB - Jose Altuve (9, 2nd base off Ramirez/Zunino)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Alex Presley 1
DP - Castro-Altuve
E - Jonathan Villar (1, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Collin McHugh (W,1-0) 6.23000120 0.00
Raul Valdes 0122101 40.50
Anthony Bass (H,2) 1.1100010 2.45
Josh Fields (S,2) 1000010 2.00
Pitches-Strikes - Collin McHugh 89-61, Raul Valdes 11-5, Anthony Bass 12-10, Josh Fields 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Collin McHugh 3-4, Anthony Bass 2-1, Josh Fields 1-1
Batters Faced - Collin McHugh 22, Raul Valdes 2, Anthony Bass 5, Josh Fields 3
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Abraham Almonte, CF4010031 .224
Dustin Ackley, LF4000032 .246
Robinson Cano, 2B4010030 .269
Corey Hart, DH4010002 .267
Kyle Seager, 3B3100112 .156
Justin Smoak, 1B3112000 .232
Michael Saunders, RF2000010 .176
   a-Nick Franklin, PH-RF1000000 .077
Mike Zunino, C3000021 .267
Brad Miller, SS3010010 .192
Erasmo Ramirez, P0000000 .000
   Dominic Leone, P0000000 .000
   Danny Farquhar, P0000000 .000
   Yoervis Medina, P0000000 .000
Totals31252114  
a-grounded out for Saunders in the 7th
Batting
2B - Brad Miller (4, Bass)
HR - Justin Smoak (3, Valdes)
RBI - Justin Smoak 2 (12)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Smoak 2 (10)
CS - Michael Saunders (2, 2nd base by McHugh/Castro)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
E - Abraham Almonte (3, Misplayed grounder)
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Erasmo Ramirez (L,1-3) 6333382 6.75
Dominic Leone 1211011 1.69
Danny Farquhar 1411010 1.69
Yoervis Medina 1100110 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Erasmo Ramirez 98-63, Dominic Leone 11-7, Danny Farquhar 37-25, Yoervis Medina 18-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Erasmo Ramirez 3-7, Dominic Leone 1-1, Danny Farquhar 1-1, Yoervis Medina 1-1
Batters Faced - Erasmo Ramirez 24, Dominic Leone 5, Danny Farquhar 7, Yoervis Medina 5
Game Information
Attendance - 10466
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 51
Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Marcus Pattillo, Third Base - Laz Diaz