Roberto Hernandez looked to continue to build his case for the fifth spot on the Astros rotation. He pitched four innings on Sunday - 4H, 1ER, 1 BB, 2 SO. The Pirates' run came in the fourth inning after a leadoff single by Gregory Polanco. Polanco would move around the basepaths on a wild pitch, sac-fly, and a fielder's choice. Overall, it was a solid outing for Hernandez. Through four games this Spring, Hernandez has allowed six runs through 12 innings pitched.
Another candidate for the fifth spot, Dan Straily, had equally stellar outing on Sunday - 3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO. Jordy Mercer touched up Straily for a solo home run in the sixth. Straily has allowed 7 runs in 10.2 innings this spring.
James Hoyt finished out the game for the Astros, pitching 1.1 scoreless innings. Today's outing added to his six scoreless innings in five Spring Training games.
The Astros offense had a field day with the Pirates staff on Sunday. Chris Carter lead the way with a 3-for-3 day. He was only missing a triple for the cycle. Carter's solo home run in the fourth looked effortless, as if he was swatting a fly away.
Houston put the game away in the fifth with eight runs in the inning. The 12 Astros batters came to bat in the inning. They collected six singles, two doubles, and a walk. Charlie Leesman failed to backup two different throws to the plate, allowing additional Astros to score.
Jonathan Villar and Hank Conger had strong showings at the plate. Villar was 2-for-3 with a triple, two runs scored, and three RBIs. Conger was 2-for-2 with a double and three RBIs.
The Astros face the Braves in the final Roots Sports SW broadcast from Florida - game starts at 12:05 PM CT.