Cleveland at Houston


    Astros 4, Indians 3 wire reports

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Roy Oswalt pitched two hitless innings and Houston newcomer Jose Valverde also started out well Friday as the Astros beat the Cleveland Indians 4-3.

    Former AL MVP Miguel Tejada went 0-for-2 in his first spring training game for the Astros. He also made an error at shortstop.

    The Astros rallied for two runs in the ninth, winning on Reggie Abercrombie's RBI double.

    Oswalt struck out two and was pleased his performance despite spending a lot of time behind in the count. He threw 22 strikes and 14 balls.

    "The ball was coming out of my hand well," he said. "I missed a few spots early in the count, but I was able to come back and work through it."

    Oswalt threw a few offspeed pitches.

    "I was trying to get command of my fastball, which is my No. 1 pitch," he said. "I threw two curveballs, two sliders and two changeups. Other than that, it was fastballs."

    Valverde, acquired from Arizona to be the Astros' closer, struck out two in a hitless inning. He led the majors with 47 saves last year.

    "He knows how to turn it up," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "He's one way when he's not pitching and another way when he is pitching. He knows when to dial it up when he has to dial it up. Today, he dialed it up pretty good."

    Indians starter Paul Byrd stuck with fastballs and allowed one run and four hits in two innings.

    "It was nice to get the feel of the ball again, try to throw some fastballs," Byrd said. "It's good to get in some trouble and then get out of trouble."

    Byrd is currently awaiting Major League Baseball's decision on his admitted use of human growth hormone.

    Japanese right-hander Masahide Kobayashi pitched in his first game for the Indians. He worked himself in and out of a bases-loaded jam, striking out Victor Diaz to escape.

    Through a translator, Kobayashi said his nerves helped him focus and he "just wanted to focus on getting outs one by one."

    Kobayashi signed a two-year contract with the Indians after nine seasons in the Japanese Pacific League. Cleveland got him to add depth to the bullpen behind closer Joe Borowski, who retired all three batters he faced in the third inning.

    "He had good action on his pitches," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "It was pretty impressive the way he worked out of that jam."

    "We'll probably mix Kobayashi in the sixth, seventh, eighth innings," he said. "I have confidence anywhere we put him."


    New Astros 2B Kazuo Matsui didn't play because of hemorrhoids. He is expected to play Saturday against Atlanta. ... Houston 1B Lance Berkman, who strained an oblique muscle early in spring training, will start Sunday in a split-squad game against Washington. ... Cleveland LHP C.C. Sabathia will make his spring debut Saturday against Detroit. Dontrelle Willis will start for Detroit.
    Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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       a- David Wallace, PH-DH2010010 .500
    David Dellucci, LF2000102 .000
        Jason Tyner, LF10110001.000
    Franklin Gutierrez, CF3011001 .333
        John Drennen, CF1000002 .000
    Jhonny Peralta, SS2000110 .000
        Joshua Rodriguez, SS1000002 .000
    Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B3000023 .000
        Brandon Chaves, 2B1010000 .500
    Kelly Shoppach, C3110021 .333
        Yamid Haad, C1000010 .000
    Andy Marte, 3B4000002 .000
    Michael Aubrey, 1B2121000 .800
       b- Beau Mills, PH-1B2010000 .500
    Brad Snyder, RF4110003 .167
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    b-grounded out for Aubrey in the 7th
    2B - Kelly Shoppach (1, Cassel), Michael Aubrey (1, Cassel)
    RBI - Jason Tyner (2), Franklin Gutierrez (1), Michael Aubrey (2)
    2-OUT RBI - Franklin Gutierrez (1)
    CS - Brandon Chaves (1, 2nd base by Valverde/Towles)
    Team LOB - 7
    Outfield Assists - Franklin Gutierrez 1
    DP - Peralta-A. Cabrera-Aubrey, Marte-A. Cabrera-Aubrey, Gutierrez-Aubrey
    E - Asdrubal Cabrera (1, Throwing), Beau Mills (1, Misplayed grounder)
    Cleveland Indians
    Paul Byrd 2411000 4.50
    Joe Borowski 1000010 0.00
    Rafael Betancourt (H,1) 1100000 0.00
    Rafael Perez (H,1) 1000020 0.00
    Masahide Kobayashi (H,1) 1200010 0.00
    Aaron Fultz (H,1) 1110010 0.00
    Thomas Mastny (H,1) 1100020 0.00
    Edward Mujica (BS,1; L,0-1) 0.1322100 54.00
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 2-2, Joe Borowski 1-1, Rafael Perez 1-0, Masahide Kobayashi 1-2, Aaron Fultz 2-1
    Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 8, Joe Borowski 3, Rafael Betancourt 3, Rafael Perez 3, Masahide Kobayashi 6, Aaron Fultz 5, Thomas Mastny 4, Edward Mujica 5
    Houston Astros
    Michael Bourn, CF3120010 .600
        Reggie Abercrombie, PR-CF2011011 .500
    Geoff Blum, 2B-3B3010000 .200
        Tommy Manzella, PR-3B1000010 .000
    Miguel Tejada, SS2000000 .000
        David Newhan, 2B2010003 .667
    Carlos Lee, LF2010000 .500
        Jose Cruz Jr., LF2000004 .000
    Darin Erstad, DH2010001 .250
       a- Victor Diaz, PH-DH2000024 .000
    Hunter Pence, RF3010010 .200
        Nick Gorneault, PR-RF12100001.000
    Ty Wigginton, 3B2000002 .000
        Tomas Perez, SS2110001 .250
    Mark Loretta, 1B2000011 .200
        Lance Niekro, 1B1001000 .000
    Brad Ausmus, C1000000 .000
        J.R. Towles, C2021000 .500
       b- Alberto Castillo, PH0000100 .000
        Yordany Ramirez, PR0000000 .000
    a-struck out for Erstad in the 6th
    b-walked for Towles in the 9th
    2B - Reggie Abercrombie (1, Mujica), Darin Erstad (1, Byrd), Tomas Perez (1, Mujica)
    SF - Lance Niekro (1)
    RBI - Reggie Abercrombie (1), Lance Niekro (1), J.R. Towles (1)
    2-OUT RBI - J.R. Towles (1)
    SB - David Newhan (1, 2nd base off Mastny/Haad)
    Team LOB - 8
    DP - Blum-Loretta, Newhan-T. Perez-Niekro
    E - Miguel Tejada (1, Misplayed grounder)
    Houston Astros
    Roy Oswalt 2000120 0.00
    Jack Cassel 2522110 9.00
    Doug Brocail 1000000 0.00
    Jose Valverde 3411030 3.00
    Carlos Hines (W,1-0) 1100010 0.00
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 2-2, Jack Cassel 3-2, Doug Brocail 1-2, Jose Valverde 3-2, Carlos Hines 1-0
    Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 7, Jack Cassel 12, Doug Brocail 3, Jose Valverde 12, Carlos Hines 3
    Game Information
    Attendance - 2660
    Game Time - 2:38
    Temperature - 68
    Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Adam Dowdy, Third Base - Adrian Johnson