Astros 13 - Rangers 6
Break up the Astros, they are 3-0 in the short exhibition season. Yes, of course exhibition games mean nothing. The wins won't help the Astros prevent another 100-loss season. But, this weekend reminds of another exhibition game I saw in person - the Astros against the Express in 2007. Chris Burke started in center for the Astros and Hunter Pence started in center for the Express. Pence proceed to completely outplay Burke throughout the game. The main point of this story is, that day I saw the future was brighter than present day. I had that same feeling today as I watched the Astros dismantle the Rangers in San Antonio.
No surprise that George Springer was at the forefront of the Astros' effort, He was 3-for-3 with a mammoth homerun, stealing one base, and three runs scored. Springer's homerun was back-to-back with Jesus Guzman's home run moments before. Marwin Gonzalez continues to have a strong spring, collecting three hits in four at-bats, stealing two bases, and scoring two runs. Austin Wates made the most of his opportunity, he was 2-for-2 with a run batted in and run scored off the bench. Nolan Fontana, drove in run in each of his two at-bats - including a two-run homer in seventh. Jonathan Meyer capped off the afternoon with a grand slam in the fifth.
The few places for improvement that I saw during the game came mostly from the pitching staff - there was a general lack of control. Dallas Keuchel allowed four earned runs over 4.1 innings. Mike Foltynewicz was the most impressive of the four pitchers, overpowering the Rangers' lineup when he kept the ball in the strike zone. Jiovanni Mier struggled in the field, dropping the ball that would turned two and booting a grounder (that took a sharp hop on the Alamodome turf).
The Rangers pitching staff should be fun to watch - Joe Saunders gave up seven earned runs over 4.1 innings. Another potential starter for the Rangers Robbie Ross was touched up for four runs over 0.2 innings of work.
Finally, to steal a line from David Temple's Stealing Home Podcast, the MVP of my heart is Preston Tucker for not wearing batting gloves.
Astros 2 - Rojos del Águila 0
This game had in total nine hits and 23 runners left on base. Easy to say there wasn't as much offense as was the case in the Alamodome. The Red Eagles only had only three players reach base the entire evening. Issmael Salas collected two singles, as did Jorge Guzman in four and three at-bats respectively. Former Astro Jose Castillo added a walk. Brett Oberholtzer, Anthony Bass, Matt Albers, and Josh Fields completed the four-hit shutout without much distress.
Dexter Fowler went deep in his first game as an Astro in Minute Maid Park, with a solo home run in the fourth. Matt Dominguez accounted for the second run, driving in Alex Presley with a sacrifice fly also in the fourth. Marc Krauss counties his productive spring, going 0-for-1 with two walks. Chris Carter was 0-for-2 and stranded three base runners.
I'm just going to leave this tweet here -
Japhet Amador just entered as a pinch-runner, and I don't see Bo laughing.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 30, 2014
The Astros will play one more against Rojos del Águila de Veracruz on Sunday at 1:10 pm (CT). Mark Appel will be making the start for the Astros.