Today the Astros went up against an American League foe for the first time this spring. Actually, they played against two A.L. teams. Astros split-squad teams took to the diamond against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Detroit Tigers.
Jordan Lyles got the start against the Rays and 2012 Cy Young Award winner David Price. The Rays came out on top 7-2 in a rain shortened contest played in Port Charlotte. Tampa Bay got a bit of a scare when Marwin Gonzalez led off the game by hitting a ball that struck Price on the left wrist. Price said he was not hurt and went on to complete the inning in what was his first outing of the spring.
Lyles went two innings in his spring debut and was rocked for six runs on ten hits in his two innings of work. The youngster was unfazed by the results and happy with his effort, as is evidenced by this quote from mlb.com.
"I felt good. I’m not worried about the results right now; it’s too early for that. I’m just focused on throwing the ball over the plate, throwing quality strikes. I just tried to split the plate in half today, tried to throw the ball over the plate, and tried to mix in my changeup when I had to. I felt fine, and that’s a positive sign. But I’m not going to get too worried about the results right now."
Matt Dominguez was a bright spot on offense for the Astros today in Port Charlotte. The third-baseman went 2 for 2 with a homer, a double and a walk. Brandon Barnes chipped in with a single and a pair of stolen bases.
Brett Wallace had a big day against Detroit (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)
The result of the Astros home game against the Tigers was much better. Houston won it 9-4. Rick Ankiel‘s second inning triple was followed by a 2-run blast off the bat of Jason Castro. Castro’s second homer in as many days gave the Astros a 2-1 lead. Brett Wallace added a solo shot in the fourth and had three hits in the game. Robbie Grossman continued to impress by lacing a 2-run pinch double in the fifth.
Astros starter Erik Bedard went two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk. John Ely and Rudy Owens, both of whom are trying to crack the starting rotation, also pitched in the game. Ely allowed two runs in two innings and Owens gave up a run in his 1 & 2/3 innings of work. Rule 5 draftee Josh Fields pitched the final 1 & 1/3 innings.