Houston at Miami

Scoreboard
Houston (7-8) «3311010009130
Miami (7-8)004000000481

Astros 9, Marlins 4

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JUPITER, Fla. (AP) - In his first start since being named Miami's opening day starter, Ricky Nolasco hardly looked worthy of the honor.

Carlos Pena and Brett Wallace hit back-to-back home runs off Nolasco in the first inning and the Houston Astros added three more long balls in a 9-4 victory over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.

Matt Dominguez, Jason Castro and Chris Carter also homered for the Astros, who had 13 hits. Castro went 3 for 3 with a double.

Nolasco gave up seven runs, eight hits and four homers in three innings. He walked two and struck out four.

"Batting practice is over," Nolasco said. "I just couldn't command the ball anywhere. I was all over the place. "

During a pitching change against the New York Mets five days earlier, Nolasco was informed by manager Mike Redmond that he would be the team's opening day starter.

Redmond said Nolasco's latest outing did not affect the right-hander's status.

"It wasn't pretty but I guess he got his pitches in," Redmond said. "He was out of whack. His tempo wasn't very good. And these guys came out swinging."

Nolasco continued to work on locating first-pitch fastballs despite Houston's aggressive approach.

"We're here to get our pitch count up and stay healthy," Nolasco said. "I probably averaged two pitches per batter because they were just hacking. (In season) if I see a team come out hacking like that in the first inning, I'm going to start throwing a lot of off-speed first pitch."

Bud Norris allowed four runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings. He struck out one and yielded a home run to Kevin Kouzmanoff.

"For me, it's always about the two-seam and changeup," Norris said. "Trying to get some motion while pitching out of the stretch was important, as well."

Norris or Lucas Harrell figures to be Houston's opening day starter.

"It would be a great honor," Norris said. "Obviously, Lukes and I are backing each other. I'm cheering him on, he's cheering me on. We'll see what happens."

Houston's Phil Humber gave up one hit and struck out three while pitching the final five innings to lower his spring ERA to 1.29.

Dominguez's two-run homer in the second hit the roof of the Marlins' two-story office building in left. The former Marlins minor league gave Houston a 5-0 lead.

"There was some wind today, so that might have helped it," Dominguez said. "It's definitely nice to do it to a former team."

Kouzmanoff's two-run homer highlighted Miami's four-run third.

NOTES: Astros owner Jim Crane and Roger Clemens attended the game. Clemens arrived during the sixth inning. He's working as an Astros special spring training instructor. ... Kouzmanoff had his second straight two-hit day to improve his spring batting average to .400. He's trying to earn a spot as a right-handed hitter off the bench. "He's done a nice job," Redmond said. "Every time he has gotten in there, he has contributed." ... Astros CF Rick Ankiel went 2 for 4 with a run to raise his spring average to .435. ... Miami 2B Donovan Solano went 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI. He's now hitting .500 this spring.

 
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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Players of the Game
Houston

J. Castro
AB 3
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Miami

K. Kouzmanoff
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Altuve, 2B4000015 .267
    Robbie Grossman, CF1000000 .333
Rick Ankiel, CF4120014 .435
    Rene Garcia, C1000000 .250
Chris Carter, LF3112001 .219
    Tyler Greene, SS1100100 .115
Carlos Pena, DH3112001 .250
   a- Nate Freiman, PH-DH1000001 .259
   b- Fernando Martinez, PH-DH1000000 .350
Brett Wallace, 1B5122012 .321
J.D. Martinez, RF3000020 .267
    Jimmy Paredes, RF1000110 .091
Jason Castro, C3231000 .500
    Jose Martinez, PR-2B2000001 .333
Matt Dominguez, 3B2122100 .381
    Trevor Crowe, PR-LF2010012 .250
Marwin Gonzalez, SS-3B4110113 .321
Totals41913948  
a-grounded out for Pena in the 6th
b-lined out for Freiman in the 8th
Batting
2B - Rick Ankiel (2, Nolasco), Brett Wallace (4, Jennings), Jason Castro (1, Talbot)
HR - Chris Carter (2, Talbot), Carlos Pena (3, Nolasco), Brett Wallace (2, Nolasco), Jason Castro (3, Nolasco), Matt Dominguez (2, Nolasco)
RBI - Chris Carter 2 (6), Carlos Pena 2 (5), Brett Wallace 2 (9), Jason Castro (8), Matt Dominguez 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Pena 2 (3), Brett Wallace (6)
SB - Trevor Crowe (2, 2nd base off Talbot/Skipworth)
Team LOB - 9
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bud Norris (W,1-0) 3.2744011 7.27
Wesley Wright (H,3) 0.1000000 12.46
Philip Humber (S,1) 5100030 1.29
Pitches-Strikes - Bud Norris 21-20, Wesley Wright 2-1, Philip Humber 22-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bud Norris 7-3, Philip Humber 6-6
Batters Faced - Bud Norris 18, Wesley Wright 1, Philip Humber 16
Miami Marlins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Christian Yelich, LF3110001 .371
    Bryan Petersen, LF1000000 .067
Chone Figgins, 3B-2B4001010 .273
Donovan Solano, 2B3121000 .500
    Chris Valaika, 3B1000000 .130
Jordan Brown, 1B-RF4010011 .250
Kevin Kouzmanoff, DH4122012 .400
Chris Coghlan, RF3000000 .314
    Matt Downs, 1B1000011 .161
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS3000000 .200
    Nick Green, SS1000001 .217
Kyle Skipworth, C2000000 .211
    Jacob Realmuto, C2000001 .250
Gorkys Hernandez, CF3120000 .231
Totals3548404  
Batting
2B - Donovan Solano (2, Norris), Kevin Kouzmanoff (3, Humber)
HR - Kevin Kouzmanoff (3, Norris)
RBI - Chone Figgins (5), Donovan Solano (5), Kevin Kouzmanoff 2 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Kevin Kouzmanoff 2 (6)
SB - Gorkys Hernandez (3, 2nd base off Wright/Castro)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
PB - Kyle Skipworth (1)
E - Donovan Solano (1, Misplayed grounder)
Miami Marlins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ricky Nolasco (L,1-2) 3877244 7.27
Mitch Talbot 2311011 5.14
Dan Jennings 1111210 5.40
Ryan Webb 1000000 7.20
Chad Qualls 1000000 0.00
A.J. Ramos 1100020 4.50
WP - Dan Jennings (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Ricky Nolasco 42-28, Mitch Talbot 15-13, Dan Jennings 15-6, Ryan Webb 3-3, Chad Qualls 3-3, A.J. Ramos 8-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ricky Nolasco 1-5, Mitch Talbot 2-3, Dan Jennings 2-0, Ryan Webb 1-2, Chad Qualls 1-2
Batters Faced - Ricky Nolasco 20, Mitch Talbot 9, Dan Jennings 6, Ryan Webb 3, Chad Qualls 3, A.J. Ramos 4
Game Information
Attendance - 2481
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Sean Barber, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Mike Estabrook