(SportsNetwork.com - The Houston Astros will rely on Collin McHugh Sunday when they try to salvage a split in the series finale of their four-game set with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
McHugh enters the game with a 5-9 record and an impressive 3.08 earned run average. He's struck out 118 batters to just 35 walks in 18 starts this season.
The 27-year-old righty suffered through a rough patch earlier this summer that included six consecutive losses. In his last three starts, though, McHugh is 1-0 with two no-decisions. He won his most recent outing by tossing six innings of four-hit, one-run ball. His Astros defeated the Twins, 10-4, for his fifth victory of the season.
On the road, McHugh has been solid with a 2-3 record and a 1.86 ERA.
Boston will hand the ball to righty Joe Kelly, who has been on the mound twice since coming to Boston after a trade deadline deal from St. Louis. This, though, will be his first start at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox.
In two starts with Boston, Kelly has yet to receive a decision. His latest start included six innings of two-run, five-hit ball against the Cincinnati Reds. He struck out four and walked three in the contest that the Red Sox eventually won, 3-2.
Kelly is 2-2 overall on the year with a 3.75 ERA.
In two career appearances against Houston (no starts), Kelly has worked just 1 1/3 innings and given up two hits.
On Saturday, David Ortiz homered twice and tied a career high by driving in six runs as Boston rallied to take down Houston, 10-7.
"Being well past pace of another 30 [homers]-100 [RBI], he's the main cog in our lineup. He's having one heck of a year again," said Red Sox manager John Farrell of his veteran slugger.
Daniel Nava collected three hits and drove in two, while Yoenis Cespedes and Jackie Bradley, Jr. added an RBI each for the Red Sox, who recovered from an early 5-1 deficit to win for the fifth time in their last six.
Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli both contributed two hits and two runs scored to Boston's potent offense.
Alex Wilson (1-0) tossed 2 1/3 innings of flawless relief for the victory.
Chris Carter homered and drove in two runs for the Astros, who have lost five of their last seven. Gregorio Petit also knocked in a pair, Dexter Fowler and Jonathan Singleton added an RBI apiece, Jason Castro had a solo homer and Marwin Gonzalez had two hits and crossed home twice in defeat.
Josh Fields (2-6) gave up the go-ahead run while recording two outs in the fifth inning.