Pittsburgh at Houston

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (9-11) «010000200390
Houston (7-11)000000002231

Pirates 3, Astros 2

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Jonathan Sanchez pitched three strong innings and Garrett Jones and Ivan DeJesus Jr. each had two hits in the Pittsburgh Pirates' 3-2 exhibition victory over the Houston Astros on Friday.

Sanchez, the left-hander trying to earn a spot in the Pirates' rotation, gave up a leadoff single to Jose Altuve in the first inning, then retired nine in a row. The 30-year-old Sanchez is pitching on a minor league contract less than 2 1/2 years after starting a World Series game for San Francisco. By March 24, he can opt out of his contact and try to hook on with another team.

"I've been in the big leagues for seven years, and I'd rather be in a rotation," Sanchez said. "I'll have to make the decision that day. I don't know what to say right now. I'm just thinking about my next start and trying to do the same things I did today."

It was the second start of the spring for Sanchez, 1-9 in 15 starts last season for Kansas City and Colorado.

"I felt great out there. I felt like old times," he said. "It's spring training. We have to make adjustments, but I'm getting there. When we got here I started trying new mechanics. It didn't work out. I went back to my old mechanics, and I feel a lot better now. It doesn't matter how you throw the ball. You just have to throw strikes." Sanchez will get only one more start before he has to make his decision.

"I see a lot of good arms here, a lot of hard throwers. It's their decisions, whatever they want to do. I guess they're going to talk to me first (about) whatever they want to do."

Tyler Greene's single in the fifth off Jeanmar Gomez was Houston's only other hit until Jose Martinez drove in two runs with a two-out single in the ninth.

Houston starter Brad Peacock gave up one run on four hits in five innings.

Peacock, a 25-year-old right-hander who came to the Astros from Oakland in a February trade, will need a break or a breakdown to open the season in the Astros' rotation, but his chances look better than they did a week ago.

"I'm glad to get my pitch count up and get ready for the season, and I'm glad they let me go back out in the fifth," he said. "I feel like I actually got stronger as the game went on. I got loosened up, finally found my curveball in the fourth and fifth."

Hits by Pedro Alvarez, Jones and DeJesus gave the Pirates a run in the second inning and tagged Peacock with the loss. But he gave up only four hits and struck out four.

"Peacock was outstanding," manager Bo Porter said. "Five strong innings, 84 pitches, used his breaking balls effectively and pounded the strike zone. He looked like he wasn't losing steam, so we allowed him to finish it."

Tyler Greene's single in the fifth off Jeanmar Gomez was Houston's only other hit until Jose Martinez drove in the Astros' runs with a two-out single in the ninth.

Three straight hits off Chia-Jen Lo, including an RBI double by Travis Snider, and a sacrifice fly by Jordy Mercer led to two Pittsburgh runs in the seventh.

NOTES: Shortstop Carlos Correa, the Astros' first overall draft pick last Jone, will play in his first major league exhibition game Saturday at Vierra against Washington. ... Lucas Harrell will start against the Nationals after missing a turn with a strained groin. ... Erik Bedard, who pitched one inning Wednesday in his recovery from a strained glute muscle, will pitch in relief Sunday.

 
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

B. Peacock
IP 5.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 1
K 4
Pittsburgh

G. Jones
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starling Marte, LF3000010 .367
    Andrew Lambo, LF1000000 .500
Alex Presley, CF3000010 .250
    Felix Pie, CF1010000 .250
Russell Martin, C2000110 .158
    Lucas May, C1000001 .353
Pedro Alvarez, 3B2110111 .111
    Jared Goedert, 3B1000001 .261
Garrett Jones, 1B3021001 .294
    Josh Harrison, PR-2B1110000 .304
Travis Snider, RF3111002 .241
    Mel Rojas Jr., RF1000000 .250
Ivan De Jesus Jr., 2B3020010 .385
    Matt Curry, 1B1000001 .667
Jordy Mercer, SS2011002 .353
    Gift Ngoepe, SS1000001 .000
Michael McKenry, DH3000023 .286
Totals3239327  
Batting
2B - Felix Pie (2, Clemens), Pedro Alvarez (2, Peacock), Travis Snider (4, Lo)
SF - Jordy Mercer (1)
RBI - Garrett Jones (2), Travis Snider (3), Jordy Mercer (2)
SB - Josh Harrison (2, 3rd base off Lo/Castro)
CS - Travis Snider (2, 2nd base by Peacock/Castro), Ivan De Jesus Jr. (1, 2nd base by Lo/Castro)
Team LOB - 5
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jonathan Sanchez (W,1-1) 3100030 7.56
Jeanmar Gomez (H,1) 3100130 8.00
Chris Leroux (H,2) 1000000 0.00
Bryan Morris (H,2) 1.2022210 4.50
Brooks Brown (S,3) 0.1100000 2.57
HBP - Maxwell (by Jeanmar Gomez)
WP - Bryan Morris (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jonathan Sanchez 16-16, Jeanmar Gomez 24-16, Chris Leroux 3-3, Bryan Morris 16-7, Brooks Brown 2-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathan Sanchez 2-4, Jeanmar Gomez 4-2, Chris Leroux 1-2, Bryan Morris 3-1, Brooks Brown 1-0
Batters Faced - Jonathan Sanchez 10, Jeanmar Gomez 12, Chris Leroux 3, Bryan Morris 7, Brooks Brown 2
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Altuve, 2B3010000 .316
Justin Maxwell, CF2000011 .152
    Robbie Grossman, CF0100100 .316
Chris Carter, DH2000011 .205
   a- Jason Jaramillo, PH-DH2000012 .286
J.D. Martinez, RF3000013 .235
    Jimmy Paredes, RF0100100 .125
Brandon Laird, 3B-1B4000012 .344
Nate Freiman, 1B2000000 .281
    Jose Martinez, 3B2012000 .318
Jason Castro, C2000110 .450
    Rene Garcia, C1000001 .222
Brandon Barnes, LF2000001 .375
    Fernando Martinez, LF1000000 .348
Tyler Greene, SS2010010 .133
    Jonathan Villar, SS1000000 .143
Totals2923237  
a-struck out for Carter in the 6th
Batting
SH - Jose Altuve (1)
RBI - Jose Martinez 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Martinez 2 (3)
SB - Justin Maxwell (3, 2nd base off Gomez/Martin), Jason Castro (1, 2nd base off Gomez/Martin), Tyler Greene (2, 3rd base off Gomez/Martin)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Castro-Altuve
E - Jonathan Villar (3, Missed catch of throw)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brad Peacock (L,0-1) 5411140 4.63
Kevin Chapman 1000120 6.23
Lo Chia-Jen 1322010 2.70
Paul Clemens 1100000 1.69
C.J. Fick 1100000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Peacock 31-25, Kevin Chapman 11-7, Lo Chia-Jen 8-7, Paul Clemens 4-4, C.J. Fick 4-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Peacock 2-7, Kevin Chapman 1-0, C.J. Fick 3-0
Batters Faced - Brad Peacock 18, Kevin Chapman 4, Lo Chia-Jen 5, Paul Clemens 4, C.J. Fick 4
Game Information
Attendance - 3091
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Laz Diaz