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Odorizzi strong. Brantley knocks in both runs in Astros 2 -2 tie with Nats

Last game of Spring Training. The regular season begins Thursday against A’s.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Houston Astros Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Odorizzi made his second start as an Astro, pitching three innings and allowing only one run (unearned) on three hits, one walk, with three strikeouts. This is a sigh of relief for Astros fans, who remember his only other appearance this Spring when he allowed seven runs and four homers in one complete inning.

The only run he allowed happened after a lead-off, infield hit in the third inning, followed by a bobbled double-play ball by Carlos Correa that should have cleared the bases but instead put men on first and second. This was followed by a line-drive single to load the bases, but Odorizzi struck out Trea Turner, then got a line out on Kyle Schwarber, after which Odorizzi was removed.

Ralph Garza walked the next batter to score the unearned run and then struck out Ryan Zimmerman to end the inning.

Overall a very decent outing by the ostensible Astros third or fourth starter after his late appearance in Spring Training.

The Astros scored in the third and sixth innings, both times on RBI doubles by Michael Brantley.

Otherwise, it was another weak batting performance by Astros regulars, who were 4-20 at the plate, including Chas McCormick, (0-2, .077 BA for ST) who was announced as a 26-man roster member. He will probably start in CF on opening day with Myles Straw out under COVID protocols.

Taylor Jones, normally a 1B with some OF experience, saw some action today in left field, perhaps a move to prepare him to provide some OF depth just in case.

Perhaps the weak Astros batting could be excused by the fact that they were facing Stephen Strasburg, who appeared to be in mid-season form.

We’ll forget about Spring Training soon enough. Hopefully, this one was not a precursor to the regular season, as the Stros had the worst record in baseball, 6-14 with 4 ties. They were 29th in OPS at .667, which we hope is Yordan Alvarez’ slugging percentage by the end of this year.

See ya Thursday. Late Opening Day game in Oakland.

Box Score Here