Houston at Atlanta

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    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Jason Heyward appears to be regaining his power stroke, and that's good news for the Braves.

    Homering for the second time in three games, Heyward hit a grand slam in the first inning off Wandy Rodriguez as Atlanta beat the Houston Astros 9-5 on Friday night.

    Heyward, runner-up for NL Rookie of the Year in 2010, struggled last season. Bothered by a sore shoulder, he hit just .227 with 14 homers and 42 RBIs.

    But the left-handed hitter rededicated himself while rehabbing his shoulder over the winter and came to camp about 20 pounds lighter than a year ago.

    "He had a great at-bat," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of the grand slam. "He was aggressive and that is what we want to see."

    The drive to right-center field came off a tough lefty. Rodriguez was 11-11 with a 3.49 ERA last year and will be the Astros' starter on opening day this season.

    "When he's right, he can hit any lefty," Gonzalez said of Heyward. "It doesn't matter who he is facing."

    Instead of waiting and possibly falling behind in the count, Heyward jumped on the first-pitch fastball and sent it a long way.

    "I tried to throw a two-seamer, but it didn't move and stayed in," Rodriguez said. "I know he has power. He hit that one a long way."

    Rodriguez hadn't pitched in 10 days because of a rainout and allowed five hits and a walk after two quick outs in the five-run first inning. He left with one out in the fourth after Michael Bourn, serving as the Braves' designated hitter, followed a walk with a two-run homer against his old team.

    "He took that DH to his head a little," Gonzalez said of his speedy center fielder.

    Tommy Hanson, making his spring debut after having his first start cut shot by rain, pitched three innings and gave up two runs, including a homer by Travis Buck. The right-hander struck out three, walked none and gave up five hits.

    Hanson, who was 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA last season, didn't pitch after Aug. 6 because of shoulder woes and got a delayed start this spring after sustaining a concussion in an auto mishap at the start of camp.

    "Overall, it was OK," Hanson said of his outing. "I made my pitches at times and sometimes I didn't. . It's early. It's just going to get better. . I'm back on a routine now and I'm excited about that."

    Hanson took the mound in the rain against the Blue Jays last Sunday and worked into the second inning before the game was called.

    "Tommy was fine," Gonzalez said. "His delivery was good and he was faster to the plate."

    Braves lefty relievers Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters each worked an inning and allowed a run. Brian McCann had two hits for Atlanta, raising his average to .292.

    Jordan Schafer, who came to the Astros from the Braves as part of the Bourn deal last season, had a double, single and two stolen bases. The center fielder is batting .391 this spring.

    NOTES: Tim Hudson, coming off back surgery, threw his second bullpen session on Friday. He is expected to spend the first month of the season on the disabled list. . Rookie reliever Arodys Vizcaino, one of the Braves' top prospects, will have his ailing elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews on Monday. He hasn't pitched since feeling soreness in the Braves' exhibition opener on March 3. . The Braves have split-squad games Saturday. Brandon Beachy will start the home game against Toronto, with Kris Medlen taking the mound against the Mets in Port St. Lucie. . Astros lefty Sergio Escalona (elbow) threw batting practice at the Houston camp on Friday and catcher Humberto Quintero got in four at-bats in a minor league exhibition game.

     
    Copyright 2014 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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    Houston Astros
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    Jordan Schafer, CF3220002 .391
        Justin Ruggiano, LF1100110 .000
    Jason Bourgeois, LF-CF4001002 .190
        J.B. Shuck, CF1000000 .333
    Travis Buck, DH3122010 .333
       a- Jack Cust, PH-DH1000000 .000
    Carlos Lee, 1B3010010 .316
        Jimmy Paredes, 3B1001000 .182
    Brian Bogusevic, RF4000013 .143
        Fernando Martinez, RF0000000 .222
    Jed Lowrie, SS4110020 .316
        Brian Bixler, SS0000000 .273
    Brett Wallace, 3B-1B3020000 .318
        Scott Moore, 1B1000000 .125
    Jason Castro, C3000110 .389
        Carlos Corporan, C0000000 .143
    Jose Altuve, 2B3010011 .286
        Joe Thurston, 2B1000010 .182
    Totals3659429  
    a-flied out for Buck in the 7th
    Batting
    2B - Jordan Schafer (3, Hanson), Carlos Lee (4, Venters)
    HR - Travis Buck (1, Hanson)
    RBI - Jason Bourgeois (1), Travis Buck 2 (3), Jimmy Paredes (1)
    SB - Jordan Schafer 2 (2, 2nd base off Venters/McCann, 3rd base off Venters/McCann), Travis Buck (1, 2nd base off Hanson/McCann)
    Team LOB - 6
    Fielding
    DP - Lowrie-Altuve-Lee
    Houston Astros
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Wandy Rodriguez (L,1-1) 3.1877202 9.95
    Henry Sosa 1.2200110 7.94
    David Carpenter 1000000 1.80
    Jose Valdez 1100020 4.50
    Wesley Wright 1222110 4.50
    HBP - Parraz (by Jose Valdez)
    WP - Wesley Wright (1)
    Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 31-19, Henry Sosa 13-9, David Carpenter 3-3, Jose Valdez 9-8, Wesley Wright 12-7
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 3-6, Henry Sosa 3-1, David Carpenter 1-2, Wesley Wright 1-1
    Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 19, Henry Sosa 8, David Carpenter 3, Jose Valdez 5, Wesley Wright 6
    Atlanta Braves
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    Michael Bourn, DH4112000 .242
       a- Evan Gattis, PH-DH1000000 .375
    Martin Prado, LF3010100 .364
        Luis Durango, LF-CF1110000 .538
    Chipper Jones, 3B3110002 .118
        Joe Terdoslavich, 3B1100100 .263
    Brian McCann, C3120000 .292
        Jose Yepez, C2021000 .333
    Freddie Freeman, 1B4111023 .133
        Ernesto Mejia, 1B1000001 .167
    Jordan Parraz, CF-RF2110100 .438
    Jason Heyward, RF4114013 .184
        Jose Constanza, LF0000000 .222
    Drew Sutton, 2B3120102 .421
    Andrelton Simmons, SS4000013 .238
    Totals36913844  
    a-grounded out for Bourn in the 8th
    Batting
    2B - Drew Sutton (1, Rodriguez)
    HR - Michael Bourn (1, Rodriguez), Jason Heyward (2, Rodriguez)
    RBI - Michael Bourn 2 (4), Jose Yepez (1), Freddie Freeman (2), Jason Heyward 4 (8)
    2-OUT RBI - Jose Yepez (1), Freddie Freeman (2), Jason Heyward 4 (6)
    SB - Luis Durango (1, 2nd base off Wright/Corporan)
    Team LOB - 8
    Fielding
    DP - Simmons-Sutton-Freeman
    E - Jordan Parraz (1, Dropped fly)
    Atlanta Braves
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Tommy Hanson (W,1-0) 3522031 6.00
    Eric O'Flaherty (H,1) 1211000 6.75
    Jonny Venters (H,1) 1211010 7.20
    Yohan Flande (H,2) 2010220 0.00
    Dusty Hughes (H,1) 1000010 0.00
    Jaye Chapman 1000020 12.46
    Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Hanson 21-21, Eric O'Flaherty 4-4, Jonny Venters 9-7, Yohan Flande 19-11, Dusty Hughes 5-5, Jaye Chapman 7-7
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hanson 2-4, Eric O'Flaherty 2-0, Jonny Venters 2-0, Yohan Flande 2-3, Jaye Chapman 1-0
    Batters Faced - Tommy Hanson 14, Eric O'Flaherty 4, Jonny Venters 5, Yohan Flande 9, Dusty Hughes 3, Jaye Chapman 3
    Game Information
    Attendance - 6690
    Game Time - 2:54
    Temperature - 81
    Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Larry Vanover