The Astros and Yankees worked overtime Tuesday night under a full moon at George Steinbrenner Field. The game was called with the score tied at four after ten innings of play. The Astros got off to a quick start, jumping on C.C. Sabathia for three runs in the first inning. Jose Altuve led off the game with a walk but was erased on a caught stealing. Sabathia continued to have trouble locating his cutter and the Astros pounded out three doubles and a single to plate three runs against the Yankees ace.
Brad Peacock got the start for Houston and was outstanding. Peacock went five innings, allowing only one run on two hits and two walks. Peacock kept the Yankees hitters off-balance by mixing in all of his pitches. About the hardest hit balls of the night were a couple of loud fouls off the bat of the newest Yankee, Vernon Wells. Peacock’s performance likely sealed his spot as the fourth member of the Astros rotation to start the season.
Brandon Barnes continued his torrid spring with a fourth inning homer that gave the Astros a 4-0 lead. Later in the game, after the Yankees had rallied to tie, Barnes threw out a runner at the plate to keep it knotted up. Catcher Carlos Corporancompleted the play with one of his patented blocks of home plate. Corporan stayed behind the dish for all ten innings, proving he is ready for the regular season to get underway.
Brandon Laird came off the bench tonight and had another nice game. Laird made a couple of stellar defensive plays at the hot corner and stroked a double to the left-centerfield gap against Joba Chamberlain and his porn ‘stache.
Although the Astros made a couple of errors, including Ronny Cedeno‘s misplay of a routine grounder, they played with focus and energy. Even Carlos Pena was busting it down the line to first base on a ground ball that he had no chance of beating out. Bo Porter‘s influence on this team can already be seen.
About the only negative to come out of the game was a forgettable performance from Wesley Wright. The lefty gave up hits to all three of the batters he faced, allowing the Yankees to come back from a 4-1 deficit.
Rhiner Cruz stayed in the mix for a bullpen spot by pitching a scoreless eighth inning. He was clocked as high as 97 m.p.h. and had good movement on his fastball. But Rhiner was a little wild during the inning. He almost hit a couple of batters and uncorked a wild pitch.
Several of the Astros minor leaguers got a chance to play, including Michael Burgess and Jonathan Singleton. Andrew Robinson pitched the tenth inning and kept the Yankees off the scoreboard. It had to be a thrill for the youngster to be on the mound against the Yankees at the end of the game. All in all, it was a good night for the Astros.