The Astros had their first split squad games on Sunday. A.J. Hinch headed to Joker Marchant Stadium to face the Tigers, while Trey Hillman lead the Astros against the Braves at home base - Osceola County Stadium. In one game, the Astros scored at least one run in all but one inning. In the other, they were no-hit but still managed to salvage a 2-2 tie.
In Lakeland, FL, the bats were hot for the Astros. Every player recorded a hit (or reached base with a walk, looking at you Andrew Aplin) in the game except Gregorio Petit and Ruben Sosa. Which means both will be cut today, kidding. Robbie Grossman (2-3, 2 R, 1 RBI), Evan Gattis (2-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB), Jon Singleton (2-3, 2 R, 2 2B), and Jake Marisnick (2-4, 3 RBI, 1 BB) lead the charge on offense for the Astros.
Among the reserves that saw action, Matt Duffy popped a slow home run. Jonathan Villar after getting picked off as a pinch runner, smacked a triple in his two at-bats. Brent Phillips went 1-2 with an RBI.
Dan Straily was the first starting pitcher to struggle out of the gate, giving up two runs on four hits over two innings. Brad Rodgers relieved Straily and gave up four earned runs over 1.2 innings. Rodgers has allowed six earned runs over 2.1 innings of work this spring. The three pitchers outside of Straily that are likely to see major league action didn't give up an earned run over 3.1 innings of work, Jake Buchanan, Joe Thatcher, and Kevin Chapman. Luis Cruz's only blemish in two innings of work was a solo home run to Jason Krizan.
I couldn't complete a recap of this game without mentioning George Springer and Carlos Correa. Springer was 1-for-2 with two walks and scored two runs. Correa was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. The Astros finished off J.D. Martinez and the Tigers 14-9.
As previously mentioned the Astros were no-hit by the Braves staff in the second split squad game. It clearly the work of Bo Porter's voodoo magic. Porter returned to face his former team as the Braves' third base coach.
Colby Rasmus, Chris Carter, and Dan Johnson all collected two walks in the game. The Astros two runs came in the seventh, Matt Dominguez and L.J. Hoes leadoff the inning with walks. Alex Presley loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch. Ronald Torreyes and Nolan Fontana drove home a run each with ground outs.
Scott Feldman and Jason Stoffel both gave up a run each in two innings of work. Pat Neshek saw his first Spring Training action, pitching a scoreless third inning.
The Astros play the Blue Jays Split Squad today, Collin McHugh the mound at 12:07 PM CT.