Houston at Texas

W: D. Keuchel (3-1) L: J. Saunders (0-2)
HR: HOU - J. Guzman (2),G. Springer (1),J. Meyer (1),N. Fontana (1)   TEX - L. Martin (1),B. Lillibridge (2)

Astros slam Rangers 13-6 for Alamodome sweep


SAN ANTONIO (AP) Jesus Guzman and George Springer hit consecutive home runs in the first inning, Jonathan Meyer had a grand slam in the fifth and a Houston Astros split squad rolled to a 13-6 victory over the Texas Rangers in the Alamodome on Saturday.

''I was seeing the pitches good today and trying to put the ball in play. It worked,'' Guzman said.

Nolan Fontana added a three-run shot in the seventh to help the Astros sweep two weekend games in the Alamodome, designed primarily for football and special events such as the NCAA Final Four. With an odd configuration for baseball, the building hosted Rangers spring training games for the second straight year.

Leonys Martin hit a solo shot to right-center for Texas, which opens the regular season Monday afternoon at home against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Houston plays El Aguila de Veracruz in its exhibition finale Sunday before hosting the New York Yankees in the season opener Tuesday night.


Astros: Dallas Keuchel looked sharp in his final outing of the spring against a potent Rangers offense.

''I felt really good. That's a pretty good lineup over there,'' he said. ''I felt like I held my own. It was nice to compete against a prestigious lineup that the Rangers have. I'm pretty pleased with the outing.''

After Elvis Andrus reached and scored on back-to-back errors by Houston's infield in the first, Keuchel struck out Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre before retiring Alex Rios on a grounder.

''To be able to get Prince out and then Beltre out on strikeouts in consecutive at-bats was pretty big for me,'' Keuchel said. ''Beltre has had some success against me in the past, and going forward it is a confidence booster for me.''

Keuchel, named the team's fifth starter on Wednesday, gave up five runs on six hits in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out five, walked one and gave up two homers.

The left-hander said he is where he wants to be heading into the regular season after a 78-pitch outing.

''I felt like the ball is coming out a little bit better than it has,'' Keuchel said. ''I'm definitely happy with that and going to try and move forward.''

Rangers: Joe Saunders stayed in the game after taking a ball off his left knee on a hit by Marwin Gonzalez, the second batter he faced, and giving up the home runs to Guzman and Springer.

''My knee bothered me a little bit, but I told myself that you can't come out of this game,'' he said. ''You have to get your pitches in and get your work done. You can't come out after the first two batters.''

Saunders gave up seven runs on eight hits and two walks in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out seven.


Texas ace Yu Darvish looked good in his throwing session with Rangers coaches Saturday morning.

Darvish played catch from 100 feet and threw 30 pitches on flat ground in Arlington. The 2013 AL Cy Young Award runner-up is expected to be re-evaluated Sunday. Then he could go through the same sort of workout, or it could be expanded.

Darvish missed his scheduled spring training start March 21 because of a stiff neck. He said he slept on it wrong and assumed he'd be back in two or three days. But he hadn't been able to throw, and he was examined by back specialist Dr. Drew Dossett on Wednesday, who found no structural damage in the pitcher's neck and cleared him to begin throwing again.


Saunders wasn't worried about his stats in the Alamodome.

''When you pitch in places like (this), you can't focus on results,'' he said. ''You have to focus on mechanics and strikes and making your pitches. Those were fly balls (in most ballparks).

''I felt good. Today's outing was more about where my arm was at. My arm felt good. Maybe too good. I felt I've bounced back. That is what happens. One start your arm feels dead, and take some time off with the trainer and bounce back. I'm ready to go.''


The Rangers assigned RHP Colby Lewis, LHP Ryan Feierabend, RHP Justin Germano, RHP Daniel McCutchen, C Chris Snyder, INF Kevin Kouzmanoff and INF Kensuke Tanaka to Triple-A Round Rock. RHP Nick Martinez was sent to Double-A Frisco.

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

J. Adduci
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0

G. Springer
AB 3
R 3
H 3
HR 1

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Houston Astros
Delino Deshields Jr., CF5110020 .143
Marwin Gonzalez, SS4230000 .407
   Jiovanni Mier, SS10100001.000
Preston Tucker, DH5110033 .214
Jesus Guzman, 1B2212111 .189
   Erik Castro, 1B2000001 .000
George Springer, RF3332200 .250
Jonathan Meyer, 3B4114113 .100
Adron Chambers, LF3000021 .217
   Austin Wates, LF2121000 .500
Rene Garcia, C5120021 .231
Ronald Torreyes, 2B3000011 .167
   Nolan Fontana, 2B2113000 .500
Dallas Keuchel, P0000000 .000
   Nick Tropeano, P0000000 .000
   Mike Foltynewicz, P0000000 .000
   Ross Seaton, P0000000 .000
2B - Marwin Gonzalez (8, Saunders), Preston Tucker (1, Saunders)
HR - Jesus Guzman (2, Saunders), George Springer (1, Saunders), Jonathan Meyer (1, D. McCutchen), Nolan Fontana (1, Ross)
RBI - Jesus Guzman 2 (5), George Springer 2 (4), Jonathan Meyer 4 (4), Austin Wates (1), Nolan Fontana 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Jesus Guzman 2 (2), George Springer 2 (3), Austin Wates (1), Nolan Fontana 3 (3)
SB - Marwin Gonzalez (2, 2nd base off Saunders/Chirinos), George Springer (5, 2nd base off Saunders/Chirinos)
CS - Marwin Gonzalez (1, 2nd base by Saunders/Chirinos)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Fontana-Mier-E. Castro, Fontana-Mier-E. Castro-Garcia-E. Castro
E - Jonathan Meyer (2, Throwing), Jiovanni Mier (1, Missed catch of throw), George Springer (2, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Dallas Keuchel (W,3-1) 4.1654152 6.33
Nick Tropeano (H,1) 0.2200010 0.00
Mike Foltynewicz (H,3) 2.2100120 1.38
Ross Seaton 1.1211100 2.08
WP - Dallas Keuchel (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Dallas Keuchel 37-32, Nick Tropeano 6-6, Mike Foltynewicz 16-12, Ross Seaton 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dallas Keuchel 7-2, Mike Foltynewicz 3-2, Ross Seaton 2-2
Batters Faced - Dallas Keuchel 21, Nick Tropeano 4, Mike Foltynewicz 9, Ross Seaton 7
Texas Rangers
Elvis Andrus, SS2100000 .275
   Brent Lillibridge, SS3221001 .303
Donnie Murphy, 2B2010010 .227
   Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B2000100 .370
Prince Fielder, 1B2000011 .246
   Brett Nicholas, 1B3110000 .100
Adrian Beltre, DH1000011 .262
   a-Shin-Soo Choo, PH-DH0100100 .161
   b-Adam Rosales, PH-DH3021010 .191
Alex Rios, RF1000001 .302
   Jared Hoying, RF4000024 .143
Mitch Moreland, LF1000000 .270
   Jim Adduci, LF3021010 .315
Robinson Chirinos, C3011002 .438
   Chris Gimenez, C1010000 .265
Josh Wilson, 3B1000010 .250
   Rougned Odor, 2B3000003 .238
Leonys Martin, CF1111000 .277
   Michael Choice, CF2000102 .369
Joe Saunders, P0000000 .000
   Daniel McCutchen, P0000000 .000
   Robbie Ross, P0000000 .000
   Alexi Ogando, P0000000 .000
   Justin Germano, P0000000 .000
   Seth Rosin, P0000000 .000
a-walked for Beltre in the 4th
b-singled for Choo in the 5th
HR - Brent Lillibridge (2, Keuchel), Leonys Martin (1, Keuchel)
RBI - Brent Lillibridge (5), Adam Rosales (7), Jim Adduci (7), Robinson Chirinos (7), Leonys Martin (5)
2-OUT RBI - Jim Adduci (2)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Odor-Nicholas
Texas Rangers
Joe Saunders (L,0-2) 4.1877272 11.37
Daniel McCutchen 1.2222121 9.00
Robbie Ross 0.2344101 2.86
Alexi Ogando 0.1000010 5.68
Justin Germano 1200020 4.76
Seth Rosin 1100000 1.50
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 49-36, Daniel McCutchen 18-13, Robbie Ross 11-6, Alexi Ogando 3-3, Justin Germano 9-9, Seth Rosin 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 3-2, Daniel McCutchen 2-1, Robbie Ross 2-0, Seth Rosin 1-1
Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 22, Daniel McCutchen 8, Robbie Ross 6, Alexi Ogando 1, Justin Germano 5, Seth Rosin 3
Game Information
Attendance - 27255
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Allen Bailey, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Scott Mahoney, Third Base - Manny Gonzalez