The Houston Astros postured all winter as if they had turned the corner on their woeful decade. At least they started out on the right foot Friday, dropping the Atlanta Braves in their spring opener by a 7-5 margin. New acquisition Dexter Fowler sparked the offense with a two-run single and a walk that opened another two-run frame. Marc Krauss added two hits, including an RBI double.
Harrell: Wild beginning
(c) Associated Press
Lucas Harrell, the surprise starter, walked four in two innings of work but allowed just one hit and one run. Seven Houston hurlers worked and only one came out unmarked - closer C.J. Lo who tossed a 1-2-3 ninth with a pair of strikeouts against Atlanta's scrubs.
The offense punched out 12 hits in all, with contributions from Fowler, Krauss, Jose Altuve, Chris Carter, Carlos Corporan, Robbie Grossman, Jonathan Villar, Marwin Gonzalez, Preston Tucker, Carlos Correa and Max Stassi.
Paul Clemens surrendered two runs and five hits in two innings. Rudy Owens and Matt Albers also gave up runs while Peter Moylan and Darin Downs both worked a scoreless inning.
$10 million dollar pitcher Scott Feldman is slated to make his Astros debut on Saturday in a 12:05 Central contest against the Detroit Tigers.
Perhaps the best news of the day was the arrival in camp of first baseman Japhet Amador who arrived from Mexico. He was delayed due to an illness with his pregnant wife. The giant first sacker has an open opportunity to win a job in Houston with an impressive camp but he starts out behind the others and will need to catch up.