Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Domingo Santana belted his first career major league home run and the Houston Astros beat the Colorado Rockies 8-4 Thursday to sweep their four-game home-and-home series.
Santana's three-run homer as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning padded Houston's lead. Preston Tucker homered earlier in the game, hitting a solo shot for the second game in a row.
The Astros beat the Rockies by at least three runs in all four games, including the first two in Houston. They scored eight runs in each of the last three games have won five in a row overall.
Collin McHugh (7-3) pitched six innings for the win, striking out eight while giving up three runs, four hits and five walks. All three runs scored on Carlos Gonzalez's home run in the first inning.
McHugh pitched against the Rockies for the first time since making his major league debut against them in August 2012 while pitching for the New York Mets.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch was impressed by how McHugh recovered from the first inning.
"I've said this to him in a couple of his outings: 'If I would have told you 2 1/2 hours ago that you were going to go six strong innings, you wouldn't have believed me,'" Hinch said. "He continued to battle. I know he was very frustrated with the pitch to CarGo, but six innings and three runs, that's still a good outing."
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa doubled, walked and scored two runs in the win, extending his franchise record with 15 hits in his first 10 major league games.
Gonzalez homered for a third straight game, but the Rockies didn't score again until Wilin Rosario's RBI single in the eighth, losing for the eighth time in their last nine games.
"We're only like nine games behind first place, so I believe if we get in a hot streak and get close to first place by the end of the first half, we have a chance," said Gonzalez.
Colorado starter David Hale (2-2) had nine strikeouts, tying a career high set in his major league debut for the Braves in September 2013. But he gave up five runs, 10 hits and a walk in five innings to take the loss.
Houston tied the score with a two-run third inning capped by Chris Carter's two-out RBI single, then took a 5-3 lead with two runs in the fifth.
Correa scored after drawing a one-out walk, stealing second base and coming home on Preston Tucker's double to the right-field wall. Carter doubled to the left-field wall on the next pitch for the two-run lead.
Santana homered in his 23rd major league plate appearance, driving Scott Oberg's pitch the other way to right-center field after Jason Castro led off with a double and Marwin Gonzalez drew a one-out walk.
Earlier, Tucker homered to right-center field in the first inning after Correa grounded into a double play to erase a runner at first base.
But Carlos Gonzalez gave the Rockies a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the inning with his 10th homer of the season, a line drive to right that came after Charlie Blackmon led off with a double and DJ LeMahieu walked.
Third base umpire Bob Davidson left the game in the third inning because of dehydration ... The Rockies placed right-handed reliever Brooks Brown on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation and recalled righty Christian Bergman from Triple-A Albuquerque ... The Astros are on the road for six more games. They open a three-game series with Seattle on Friday ... The Rockies host Milwaukee in a three-game series starting Friday.