Kissimmee, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Carlos Perez and Marwin Gonzalez each drove in a run in the eighth inning to carry the Houston Astros to a 4-3 triumph over the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday at Osceola County Stadium.
With the win, the Astros (4-6) snapped a five-game slide while the Blue Jays dropped to 5-6.
Jason Castro hit a two-run homer for his first long ball of spring after a 0-for-10 start while starter Rudy Owens recovered from his rocky first outing of the season by throwing three scoreless innings for the Astros.
Owens, battling for a rotation spot, allowed one hit and one run while striking out two batters as he worked in improving his tempo after a rough first start last week.
“I needed to show up, and I did. I’m happy that they’re letting me start games. This is my first year actually being able to throw in a game to start, and it feels pretty good. It’s comfortable. I’m not used to throwing out of the bullpen,” Owens said.
Raul Valdez got the win after pitching a scoreless eighth while Peter Moylan recorded the save after forcing three flyouts in the ninth.
“I felt like we played a complete game today. Good pitching, good defense, timely hitting,” Astros manager Bo Porter said. “Marwin with the big double late in the game, and I felt like the pitchers did a good job with the tempo and attacking the strike zone.”
Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey, making his second start of the spring, worked five innings and held the Astros to three singles and no runs while throwing 82 pitches, including 52 strikes.
The Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead against Anthony Bass in the sixth. Jose Bautista doubled to start the inning, and he scored one out later when Moises Sierra shot a grounder inside third base and wound up with an RBI double. Sierra scored on Kratz’s single.
The Astros answered in the bottom of the inning behind Castro’s two-run shot to right field.
With the game tied at 2-2 and one out in the eighth, Kratz doubled down the left-field line to score Steve Tolleson from first base just ahead of the throw. Porter challenged the call at the plate, but it was upheld.