After the slugfest that ensued against the Tigers over the weekend, it’s safe to say that we were all expecting a few more runs to be scored on Thursday afternoon. Alas, that was not the case. The Astros beat Tigers by a score of 4-3.
Dan Straily pitched a solid three innings, allowing one run on three hits. The run came on an Anthony Gose ground-rule double in the first, but the Astros answered right back in the bottom half on a Luis “The Beast” Valbuena sacrifice fly that scored Jake Marisnick. Valbuena went 1-for-2 on the afternoon with that rbi, and is hitting .500 this spring.
One player that is causing a little worry among Astros fans is Chris Carter, who is batting just .083 in his limited action. It’s still early, so we’re still optimistic about a quick turnaround, especially considering that his on-base percentage heading into play Thursday was .385. He has two strikeouts in twelve at-bats thus far.
On the bright side, Jose Altuve and Jake Marisnick are both batting .417 after going a combined 5-for-5 on the day, with Altuve driving in a run in the bottom of the fifth, while Marisnick scored two runs. The two accounted for five of the Astros ten hits on the day. Robbie Grossman K’d and flied out in his only at-bats of the day, lowering his average to a mere .500.
In the bottom of the eighth with a runner on third, Joe Sclafani reached on a fielder’s choice to short. The throw went home, but the catcher was charged with an error, and Houston tied the game at three.
In the ninth, Houston threatened but was unable to take the lead, sending the game into extras. After Grossman flew out for the first out of the tenth, Joe Sclafani singled to right and was pushed to third on a single by Alex Presley. A wild pitch moved Presley to second with Gregorio Petit at the plate. On the next pitch, Petit singled, scoring Sclafani from third and clinching the win for the Astros. With the win, the Astros are now 4-2 in Grapefruit League action.
The Tigers scored their other two runs off of Alex White in the fifth. White pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks, giving him a spring ERA of 27.00. Joe Thatcher worked 1 1/3 innings, and three of the four outs he recorded were via the K.
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