Houston at Atlanta

W: J. Stoffel (1-0) L: D. Hale (0-3) S: R. Seaton (1)
HR: HOU - None   ATL - C. Johnson (1),J. Upton (3),F. Freeman (2)

Fowler gets 3 hits, leads Astros over Braves 7-5

Associated Press

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) New Houston center fielder Dexter Fowler, hitting .318 this spring, was 3 for 3 with a walk in leading the Astros to a 7-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.

''I felt good,'' said Fowler, acquired from Colorado during the offseason. ''I came out and in the beginning (of spring training) I was trying to experiment with some things. I just went back to basics and got locked back in.''

Chris Johnson, Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman homered for the Braves, with Johnson and Upton connected for back-to-back shots in a four-run first inning off Dallas Keuchel.

Freeman added a single and walk in three plate appearances and is batting .400.

Jose Altuve, Robbie Grossman and L.J. Hoes had two hits apiece for the Astros.

Braves starter David Hale allowed 12 hits and six runs in 5 1-3 innings.

''It was just one of those games,'' said Hale, bidding for a spot in the Braves' injury-depleted rotation. ''I've got to put it behind me.''

Hale walked two, including Keuchel in a three-run fourth, and struck out four. He also threw two wild pitches.

''For me, the negative was walking the pitcher,'' Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel pitched in back-to-back games for the first time this spring. He allowed a ninth-inning run on a double by Jason Castro and a sacrifice fly.


After giving up the homers to Johnson and Upton in the first inning, Keuchel recovered to retire his last five batters. He struck out seven in four innings.

''I just kind of worked through it,'' the left-hander said. ''I think I did a good job of battling the last three innings.''

Keuchel, competing for one of two open spots in the Houston rotation, had three scoreless outings before giving up 13 hits and seven runs in four innings against Miami last week.

The long three-run homer to center field by Johnson came on an 0-2 count.

''You can't take your foot off the gas,'' Keuchel said. ''I didn't spot a high fastball and CJ hit it out.''


Braves catcher Evan Gattis, who hadn't played since March 17 because of sore right quadriceps, returned to the lineup. He caught six innings and went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Left-hander Mike Minor, out all spring with shoulder tendinitis, is scheduled to pitch when the Braves play a team of top minor league prospects Saturday in Rome, Ga. Minor hopes to be able to join the rotation in late April.

Right-hander Gavin Floyd, signed as a free agent after major elbow surgery a year ago, is slated to make his spring debut in a minor league game Friday. Like Minor, he could be ready to pitch by the end of April.


Ervin Santana, who signed late with the Braves after they lost Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy to injury, will make his second spring start Tuesday against Detroit in Lakeland. The right-hander pitched two innings against the New York Mets last Thursday, allowing two hits and a run.


Atlanta signed veteran right-hander Aaron Harang for the rotation after releasing Freddy Garcia. The Braves also sent five players to Triple-A Gwinnett: outfielders Jose Constanza and Joey Terdoslavich, infielders Tyler Greene and Tommy La Stella, and left-handed reliever Ryan Buchter. The team has 29 active players, four over the regular-season season maximum.

The Astros have 30 active players after releasing veteran infielder Cesar Izturis and sending pitcher Josh Zeid, catcher Rene Garcia and outfielder Adron Chambers to minor league camp.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

D. Fowler
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0

C. Johnson
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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Houston Astros
Dexter Fowler, CF4231100 .318
Robbie Grossman, LF5021001 .378
Jason Castro, C5010002 .257
   Andrew Aplin, PR0100000 .000
   Roberto Pena, C0000000 .000
Jose Altuve, 2B5120003 .264
Chris Carter, 1B4111013 .196
   Ross Seaton, P0000000 .000
L.J. Hoes, RF4020010 .222
   Andrew Robinson, P0000000 .000
   Raul Valdes, P0000000 .000
   a-Jesus Guzman, PH-1B0000100 .188
Jonathan Villar, SS4111002 .239
Marwin Gonzalez, 3B4010012 .383
Dallas Keuchel, P1100112 .000
   b-Carlos Corporan, PH1000001 .276
   Jason Stoffel, P0000000 .000
   Kevin Chapman, P0000000 .000
   Leo Heras, RF1000000 .333
a-walked for Valdes in the 9th
b-flied out for Keuchel in the 5th
2B - Jason Castro (4, Kimbrel)
3B - Robbie Grossman (1, Hale)
SF - Chris Carter (2)
SH - Jonathan Villar (2)
RBI - Dexter Fowler (4), Robbie Grossman (7), Chris Carter (6), Jonathan Villar (8)
2-OUT RBI - Dexter Fowler (1), Robbie Grossman (3)
Team LOB - 9
E - Marwin Gonzalez (4, Misplayed grounder)
PB - Jason Castro (1)
Houston Astros
Dallas Keuchel 4544272 5.82
Jason Stoffel (W,1-0; BS,1) 1.2211021 5.40
Kevin Chapman (H,3) 0.1100110 4.91
Andrew Robinson (H,1) 1.1100020 0.00
Raul Valdes (H,2) 0.2000010 1.69
Ross Seaton (S,1) 1100010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Dallas Keuchel 47-36, Jason Stoffel 11-11, Kevin Chapman 8-4, Andrew Robinson 9-9, Raul Valdes 4-4, Ross Seaton 6-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dallas Keuchel 6-0, Jason Stoffel 2-1, Andrew Robinson 1-1, Raul Valdes 1-0
Batters Faced - Dallas Keuchel 20, Jason Stoffel 7, Kevin Chapman 3, Andrew Robinson 5, Raul Valdes 2, Ross Seaton 4
Atlanta Braves
Jason Heyward, RF4110021 .304
   Anthony Varvaro, P0000000 .000
   Phil Gosselin, 3B1000001 .360
B.J. Upton, CF3000122 .278
   Derrick Mitchell, PR-RF1010000 .500
Freddie Freeman, 1B2221100 .400
   Ernesto Mejia, 1B2010001 .313
Chris Johnson, 3B4123012 .288
   David Rohm, LF1000001 .000
Justin Upton, LF4111013 .204
   Jordan Walden, P0000000 .000
   Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
   Atahualpa Severino, P0000000 .000
   a-Edward Salcedo, PH1000011 .250
Dan Uggla, 2B2000110 .255
   Tyler Pastornicky, 2B1000002 .250
Evan Gattis, C3000023 .209
   Steven Lerud, C1000010 .435
Andrelton Simmons, SS3010013 .281
   Ramiro Pena, SS1010000 .375
David Hale, P2000010 .000
   Cory Gearrin, P0000000 .000
   b-Gerald Laird, PH1000001 .095
   Jordan Schafer, RF-CF1000011 .231
a-struck out for Severino in the 9th
b-hit into fielder's choice for Gearrin in the 6th
2B - Ramiro Pena (9, Robinson)
HR - Freddie Freeman (2, Stoffel), Chris Johnson (1, Keuchel), Justin Upton (3, Keuchel)
RBI - Freddie Freeman (8), Chris Johnson 3 (9), Justin Upton (8)
Team LOB - 9
E - Dan Uggla (2, Throwing), Justin Upton (2, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
David Hale (L,0-3) 5.11266240 6.62
Cory Gearrin 0.2000000 6.94
Anthony Varvaro 1000000 9.90
Jordan Walden 1000000 3.86
Craig Kimbrel 0.2111100 2.08
Atahualpa Severino 0.1000000 13.50
WP - David Hale 2 (2)
Pitches-Strikes - David Hale 46-36, Cory Gearrin 2-2, Anthony Varvaro 3-3, Jordan Walden 3-3, Craig Kimbrel 7-3, Atahualpa Severino 1-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Hale 6-6, Anthony Varvaro 1-2, Jordan Walden 2-1, Atahualpa Severino 1-0
Batters Faced - David Hale 30, Cory Gearrin 2, Anthony Varvaro 3, Jordan Walden 3, Craig Kimbrel 4, Atahualpa Severino 1
Game Information
Attendance - 6187
Game Time - 3:21
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Angel Campos