McHugh Inching Closer to Astros' Return

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Garrett Stubbs paced a 12-hit Corpus Christi attack with two singles and two doubles as the Hooks held off Arkansas 6-5 Monday night at Whataburger Field before 5,214.
 
Stubbs’ three RBIs were also a game high.
 
Kent Emanuel (5-5), who worked four frames out of the bullpen in the Hooks tandem starter system, earned the win. He yielded seven hits, one earned run, and struck out four.
 
One-out singles by Stubbs and Jon Singleton, plus a walk to J.D. Davis, loaded the bases for Corpus Christi against Brett Ash (5-8) in the first. Jack Mayfield took a called third strike and Jason Martin lined out to left fielder Chuck Taylor.
 
The Hooks (9-9; 43-45) mounted a two-out, two-run rally the next inning. Back-to-back singles from Arturo Michelena and Ramon Laureano came ahead of Stubbs’ opposite-field double into the left-field corner.
 
Arkansas (8-10; 40-48) mustered three unearned runs against rehabbing Astros starter Collin McHugh. The third frame began when shortstop Antonio Nunez misplayed a ball off the bat of Ryan Casteel. McHugh walked Joey Wong, and an out later Taylor produced an RBI single. With two away, Seth Mejias-Brean lined a two-run single into right-center.
 
Mayfield took the initial pitch of the home third and rocketed it 413 feet to left for his ninth round-tripper of 2017. Michelena’s second single of the night plated Jamie Ritchie (two-out walk) for a 4-3 Corpus Christi lead.
 
The Hooks chased Ash while moving up by another run during the fourth. Stubbs’ opening single, a one-out free pass to Singleton, and Mayfield’s single up the middle made it 5-3. Ash exited after 3 1/3 innings, nine hits, two, walks, and three strikeouts in a 73-pitch, 44-strike start.
 
McHugh, held to a 75-pitch count (74/47), went an inning deeper. He scattered four hits, walked two, and whiffed four. The second of three Hooks double plays enabled him to escape a two-on, no-out conundrum in the fourth.
 
Corpus Christi put up a fifth-inning singleton vs. Kyle Hunter, Stubbs’ two-out double scoring Laureano. But the Travelers then countered to draw within a run at 6-5 vs. Emanuel on Casteel’s two-out infield single and a subsequent Nunez throwing error. Kyle Waldrop singled and scored on the miscue during the surge. Emanuel walked a seventh-inning high wire, two-out singles by Nelson Ward, Mejias-Brean, and Dario Pizzano filling the bases. Emanuel fanned Tyler Marlette for the third out.
 
The Hooks are off to Midland for four games, returning to Whataburger Field Sunday at 6:05 for the first of four vs. Frisco.
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