HOUSTON -- Collin McHugh made his first start in 11 days and nailed it.
The right-hander pitched five steady innings in his return from a detached fingernail, and the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to five games Tuesday night with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Jose Altuve homered and Alex Bregman hit an RBI double for the AL West champions. McHugh (3-2) allowed one run and five hits with five strikeouts, an encouraging sign as the Astros prepare for the playoffs.
"He felt really good. He felt strong," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "I thought McHugh threw the ball really well. I thought his pitch-making ability was really good."
It was the right-hander's first outing since detaching a fingernail on his pitching hand Sept. 8.
"Obviously when you're warming up it was the biggest thing for me, making sure I wasn't feeling it, I wasn't compensating for my finger in any way," McHugh said. "It was all good today. I didn't have any issues and I didn't think about it when I was out there. Mentally getting over that was probably the biggest part."
McHugh has made only 10 starts this season after also missing time with a shoulder issue.
"Overall I think we did some good things," he said. "Made some pitches when we needed to. I had a better curveball than I've had in a while. Made a handful of mistakes but for the most part I felt like I executed pitches really well."
Altuve went the other way for his 24th home run, a solo shot to right field in the fourth. Bregman knocked in Marwin Gonzalez later in the inning to give the Astros a 2-1 lead.
George Springer made it 3-1 in the eighth, just getting his fingertips on home plate and avoiding Kevan Smith's tag. On the play, Altuve grounded out to third and was thrown out at first, but Smith never tagged Springer after taking the throw from first baseman Jose Abreu. After Springer was initially called out, the play was reviewed and the call was overturned.
"I thought I'd got the plate; the plate feels a little different than the dirt does," Springer said. "I thought I had got it and obviously did. It's a good situation to go sometimes. The infielders aren't really expecting it and I took a chance."
Abreu hit an RBI double in the third to put the White Sox up 1-0. Yoan Moncada had three singles for the White Sox.
Lucas Giolito (2-3) threw well for a second straight start, giving up two runs and seven hits over 6 2/3 innings for Chicago.
"I thought he looked good," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He kept us in the ballgame, certainly. He gave us as many outs as he could. He had one inning that he worked quite a bit where he got a little deeper in pitches, but he worked through it."
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers Jr., scratched from his last scheduled start with arm fatigue, will throw a bullpen Wednesday. ... 3B Colin Moran (facial fracture) returned from the disabled list. Moran had been on the DL since July 23 after taking a foul ball off his face.
CORREA THINKING OF PUERTO RICO
Astros SS Carlos Correa played thinking of his homeland of Puerto Rico, which was expected to be struck by Category 5 Hurricane Maria on Wednesday.
"It's going to crush the island," Correa said. "My thoughts and prayers to everyone over there. I have most of my family over there, so I'm really worried about that. My parents and siblings are the only ones over here, so I have a lot of people over there."
Correa said he had talked to his relatives in Puerto Rico and they have prepared for the storm, but it is forecast to go directly over Puerto Rico.
"I have to focus on what I have to do here, but I can't help but think about my family over there in Puerto Rico and how bad it can get," Correa said. "I'm really worried. I'm going to go out there tonight and perform to the best of my abilities, but as soon as I am done with the game, I'm going to call my grandparents to see how they're doing."
White Sox: RHP James Shields (4-6) goes for his third straight win Wednesday. Shields allowed four runs and nine hits in his last start Thursday at Detroit.
Astros: RHP Brad Peacock (11-2) makes his 20th start of the season, looking for another strong outing after allowing one run in six innings Thursday against the Angels.
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