Houston Astros: Cishek struggles, prospects rally to win

Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The prospects rallied the Astros to a win over the Nationals on Monday, after Steve Cishek struggled.

The Houston Astros stormed back in their second game of spring training to the Washington Nationals, although Steve Cishek gave up three home runs. Houston entered the nine-inning game with a few starters looking at the 2021 regular season, but the bats weren’t hot in West Palm Beach until the ninth inning.

Nivaldo Rodriguez opened the game for the Astros, while going two innings and allowing no runs. The ball was then handed over to veteran reliever Steve Cishek, who would give up three consecutive long balls that looked to seal the game for the Nationals. Two of the three home runs came off changeups, although Cishek had only thrown 18 total in the last three seasons combined.

Although not being the start he wanted, Cishek recognized his struggles and joked about his daughter hitting wiffle balls all over his yard on him the day before. It was a disappointing outing for the non-roster invite, but Cishek has the experience to be a possible candidate for the Astros bullpen in 2021. This is also only game two of the spring training season, so Cishek isn’t done yet as he was experimenting with pitches.

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Shawn Dubin, Ronell Blanco, Kent Emanuel, Riley Ferrell and Ryan Hartman combined for three runs over six innings of work, while the Astros looked to have gotten back on track with their scheduled pitchers. The Nationals combined for 11 hits to their six total runs. Former Houston pitcher Rogelio Armenteros had his revenge game against his former team today while not giving up a hit.

A Steven Souza Jr. two-run home run looked to be the only runs early into the ball game, until the likely AAA roster showed out. The Astros late game replacements rallied back during a four run deficit in the top off the ninth inning with big hits from Bryan De La Cruz, Ronnie Dawson and Alex DeGoti. Jeremy Pena’s sac fly would seal a lead before heading into the bottom of the ninth to win the ball game. This group will be seen mostly in AAA this season with the Sugar Land Skeeters.

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The ball club is back on the field tomorrow against the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie at 12:10, but this game will not be available on the radio and will not be televised. Framber Valdez will get the ball first tomorrow, as the first Houston starting pitcher to make an appearance this spring. Other pitchers scheduled are: Cristian Javier, Jojanse Torres, Austin Hansen and Carson LaRue.