1. Sports

Astros top '14 in wins, keep Yankees skidding

Published Aug. 27, 2015

NEW YORK — A green laser beam bounced around a fog-filled clubhouse. Music blared from all corners of the darkened room. It's a postgame party that has becoming commonplace with these Astros.

Evan Gattis hit two homers, Collin McHugh excelled again and Houston exceeded last season's win total, beating the Yankees 6-2 Wednesday.

The AL West leaders improved to 71-57 a year after going 70-92. With almost six weeks left, the Astros already have achieved their best season since 2010.

"You could tell the pieces were here," said Gattis, in his first year with Houston. "We're not on an island out there. We could see it."

Still, did he expect such a dramatic turnaround?

"Maybe not this quick," he said.

The Astros also managed to win a road series for the first time since mid June at Colorado, taking two of three at Yankee Stadium.

"We see what we've done and haven't done," McHugh said. "It's always there."

After averaging 104 losses in four seasons, the Astros lead the majors in home runs and have the best ERA and most stolen bases in the AL.

"We have a lot of strengths," manager A.J. Hinch said. "We can do a lot of damage."

The Yankees have lost five of seven, costing them first place in the AL East. The Astros kept them skidding.

"They pitch very well, good defense and they hit the ball out of the ballpark. That's a pretty good combination," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "And they can steal bases."

"They got the best of us."

Gattis sliced an opposite-field shot to right in the second inning and launched a long drive into the leftfield seats in the eighth. His third homer in two days boosted the Astros' total to 174.

McHugh kept up a recent run of ace pitching, both for himself and the team. Houston has won seven of nine, setting a team record by not permitting more than two runs in any of them.