Collin McHugh worked six strong innings, Carlos Correa clubbed his first home run, and the Houston Astros won their home opener, beating the Oakland Athletics 3-2 on Friday. McHugh (1-1) pitched effectively for the second time in as many starts, limiting the Athletics to one run on three hits and three walks with four strikeouts. He relied largely on a two-pitch mix, throwing 35 sliders and 33 four-seam fastballs among his 94 pitches.
In his season debut against the Tampa Bay Rays, McHugh tossed only 18 four-seamers among his 81 pitches. After surrendering a game-tying RBI single to Ramon Laureano with two outs in the fourth inning, McHugh rebounded and retired the final seven batters he faced. Laureano recorded two of the hits against McHugh, including a leadoff double in the third, and he finished 4-for-4.
After McHugh issued a two-out walk to Stephen Piscotty that loaded the bases in the third, he buckled down and struck out Oakland slugger Khris Davis with consecutive sliders after falling behind in the count 2-1. McHugh struck out Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien to cap his outing. Athletics right-hander Frankie Montas (1-1) breezed through his first two innings before issuing a one-out walk to nine-hole hitter Tony Kemp in the third. Three batters later, with Kemp on third base and two outs, Montas fell behind 3-0 to Alex Bregman, who pounced on a 96.8 mph fastball and delivered a run-scoring single that pushed Houston to a 1-0 lead.
After Oakland pulled even in the top of the fourth, Correa crushed a 2-2 slider 388 feet out to left field in the bottom of the inning. Montas limited the damage to a single run in the fourth despite loading the bases with one out. He completed his outing allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks over five innings. Montas fanned five.
Jose Altuve added an RBI double off Oakland reliever J.B. Wendelken in the seventh that scored George Springer from first base. Bregman and Altuve each posted multi-hit games. Hector Rondon and Ryan Pressly each worked a scoreless inning before Laureano recorded a two-out, RBI single in the ninth off Roberto Osuna. The Astros closer rallied to retire pinch hitter Chad Pinder for his second save.
(With inputs from agencies.)