The Yankees chased Collin McHugh early in a six-run first inning, then added a pair of three-run homers from Starlin Castro and Mark Teixeira as they enjoyed a 16-6 rout of the Astros on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
McHugh recorded just one out in the bottom of the first, which saw the Yankees send 12 men to the plate and took 36 minutes to complete. Castro launched his first homer in pinstripes in the second inning and Teixeira went deep in the third inning, both off Michael Feliz. Every Yankees starter had reached base by the second inning.
"I just wanted to be the player that I used to be, to show everybody that I am a good player," said Castro, who collected four hits and drove in five runs. "I can be a better player if I work hard every day, and that's what I'm trying to do. [We] come in here every day and we focus on the game and try to be ready every day."
Carlos Correa homered twice off Yankees starter Michael Pineda, who permitted six runs and eight hits over five innings. Correa hit a solo blast to left field in the first inning and added a laser toward Monument Park in the fifth that was projected by Statcast™ at 462 feet.
"You never want to have a game like that," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "It was a mess from the beginning."
McHugh, a 19-game winner a year ago, suffered the shortest outing of his career.
"Pretty terrible when you obviously can't throw as many pitches as you want, can't get through the innings you planned for yourself and you set your team behind the eight ball," McHugh said. "Our guys did an amazing job coming back [early], but we've seen that over and over again with this group of guys. We're never out of any game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Yanks knock McHugh out early: McHugh threw 43 pitches in the first inning and had just one out to show for it as the right-hander headed to the showers sporting a 135.00 ERA.Brian McCann's two-run double highlighted the Yankees' onslaught as the Bombers saw 65 pitches from McHugh and Feliz. Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley and Castro also drove in runs in the half-inning.
"This is what we're capable of," Teixeira said. "You're not going to do that every night, especially against a good team, but when we have the entire lineup that's clicking, you're going to have a couple of nights like this, and they feel good."
Springer slam: Astros right fielder George Springer launched an 0-1 pitch from Pineda in the second inning and sent it sailing high over the left-field wall Wednesday for his first career grand slam. The Astros didn't hit their first grand slam of last season until Aug. 1.
Starlin is darlin': Castro's seven RBIs are the most by any Yankee in his first two games with the club, and he joined Babe Ruth (1932), Yogi Berra (1956) and Tino Martinez (1997) as the only Yankees to collect seven or more RBIs in the first two games of a season. Castro started the night with an RBI single, hit a three-run homer in the second, doubled in the sixth and lined a run-scoring hit in the seventh. Castro also had a two-run double off Dallas Keuchel on Opening Day.
"Starlin Castro is playing tee-ball right now," Beltran said. "He's just seeing the ball good and hitting the ball where it's pitched. It's good to see him swinging the bat like that. He's a big, big key in our club. It's fun to watch him play. We just hope for him to stay healthy and continue to do what he does well."
Carlos the Great: Correa continued his torrid start, going 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs. He's 5-for-8 so far this season, continuing his ascent to superstardom after winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2015. He hit a solo homer in the second to left field and hit a missile off the batter's eye in the fifth for his third homer in two games.
"I'm seeing the ball very well and feeling good, and hopefully I can keep doing that and find a way to help my team win ballgames," Correa said.
QUOTABLE "It's not a good way to start the season having used a 'pen like that, but in these situations, you're one good start away from recalibrating and resetting. These guys are pretty resilient." -- Hinch, after being forced to use four relievers, including Feliz for 107 pitches.
WHAT'S NEXT Astros: The Astros will send right-hander Mike Fiers to the mound to face the Yankees in Thursday's 3:05 p.m. CT series finale at Yankee Stadium. Fiers made 10 appearances (nine starts) for the Astros after coming over in a July trade with the Brewers and was 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA.
Yankees:Nathan Eovaldi (14-3, 4.20 ERA in 2015) will get the ball as the Yankees wrap up their three-game series with Houston, preparing to hit the road after Thursday's 4:05 p.m. ET contest. Eovaldi was 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts vs. the Astros in 2015, including eight scoreless innings of four-hit ball on Aug. 24 in New York.