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Spring Training News and Game Thread, Feb. 28th, 12:05 CST

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Day 6 of Spring Training. Join the discussion

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros lost a slugfest to the Washington Nats yesterday, 14-8. Collin McHugh started, making his first appearance of the Spring. He gave up one run, and left after one inning with minor back discomfort. However, Coach A.J Hinch said he did not believe this was a serious issue and that he was removed from the game as an ordinary precaution.

Here is an example of the latest in McHugh’s repertoire, a change up, which he plans to add to his already nasty curve and slider.

Leading the offense for the Stros were Tyler White and one of the Spring’s pleasant surprises, Ronnie Dawson, each with two hits.

Here’s Derek Fisher flashing leather in center field.

Perhaps of greater concern was the first performance of Chris Devenski. Yes, it was his first appearance of Spring Training, but when one considers his almost total inability to get batters out near the end of last year, it was disheartening to see the continuation of that trend after off-season work to supposedly fix his mechanical problems. His four earned runs surrendered in only 0.1 innings pitched felt like deja vu all over again.

A.J. Hinch removed one of the few dramas in this year’s pre-season; who will be the fourth outfielder. If the season started today, he said, he would carry five outfielders, so the horrible choice of having to move either Tony Kemp or Jake Marisnick seems to have been averted for now.

But coach may have to reconsider that statement seeing as how one of the young hosses counted on to fill this year’s starting pitching void is already injured. Josh James will miss most of the rest of Spring Training with a quad strain. Reports are that he may be ready for opening day as a bullpen arm.

Looks like Framber Valdez and Brad Peacock are the main competition for the fifth starter’s role at this time.

Speaking of Peacock, he gets his first appearance of the Spring, opening against the Marlins, who send Sandy Alcantara to the mound, 12:05 CST.

The Astros lineup for today’s game is below. Looks almost like opening day except still no Bregman.

Today’s game can be heard on KBME, AM 790 AM. This game is televised on ATT SportsNet, ESPN+.