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Game 120 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins

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Astros hope to rebound after dropping two straight.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros (49-69) vs. Minnesota Twins (53-64), 7:10 p.m. (CST)

TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Twins SBNation BlogTwinkie Town

Pitching matchup

RHP Collin McHugh (4-9, 3.18 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) vs. RHP Yohan Pino (1-4, 4.59 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)

Preview

Well, yesterday wasn't the best day for Domingo Santana. It is time to turn the page, take one game at a time, and (insert another sports clique). In the spirit of turning the page, we look to one of the Astros' biggest surprises this season Collin McHugh.

McHugh has had only four starts this season where he has given up four runs over more in seventeen chances. That may not seem like a feat, if you look at previous members of the rotation efforts like Erik Bedard, Philip Humber, Lucas Harrell, Jordan Lyles, and to a lesser existent Jarred Cosart - it may make it seem a greater effort. He has allowed just eight earned runs over his 23.2 innings (four games). More over, Doctor McHugh has given up just two earned runs over his last 13.1 innings.

On June 8 in Minnesota, McHugh had one his shortest outing of the year - throwing 101 pitches through 4.1 innings. He walked five in the game, but held it together and managed to not implode - allowing just three runs on three hits.

Looking at the Twins roster and their past history against McHugh, Eduardo Nunez and Kurt Suzuki are each 1-for-2 with a solo home run. Brian Dozier is 0-for-1 but has two walks against McHugh.

The Astros face Yohan Pino today on the mound for the Twins. He is making his tenth start this season, thus far through 2014 he has three quality starts. These three quality starts have been sprinkled between outings he has struggled. For example, in his last four starts, he has given up thirteen runs over 24.1 innings. Not glowing, but on July 28 he gave up just two over six innings against the White Sox - striking out a season-high six batters. The question is which pitcher will the Astros see today?

Tonight will be the first shot any current Astro has against Pino. One thing to note, left-handers have hit him well thus far in 2014 compared to righties - .341 OPS for left-handers compared to .258 OPS from the right side.