Split Squad Astros Take Two
Keuchel, Martes Place Strong Starts

Martes: Very sharp in relief
(c) Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle
Green-capped Astros celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a pair of Grapefruit League wins on Friday. A split squad rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth at TBPOTPB to scalp the Atlanta Braves, 5-4. Meanwhile, the other half tallied four runs in the seventh to break open a close game at JetBlue Park to upend the Boston Red Sox, 6-2. The sweep pulled the Astros to an 8-10-2 spring record with two weeks to play.

At West Palm, Dallas Keuchel sailed through four shutout innings, allowing three hits and no walks. The Braves, however, scored twice off Will Harris in the fifth and two more off Riley Farrell and Brock Dykxhoorn in the seventh.

Derek Fisher drove home Tyler White in the seventh with a sacrifice fly which was all Houston produced until the ninth. Then Fisher launched a two-run double to close the gap to 4-3. Jack Mayfield delivered the walk-off winner with a two-run single against Luke Jackson.

Up in Fort Myers, Brad Peacock gave up a run in his three innings of work then top prospect Francis Martes tossed three no-hit innings while striking out three. Reid Brignac spanked a two-run double in the sixth to give Houston the lead.

In the seventh, Evan Gattis lined an RBI double then A.J. Reed delivered a run-scoring single. Teoscar Hernandez and J.D. Davis followed with RBI doubles to cap the four-run frame. Gattis, Hernandez, Davis and Brignac each had multi-hit games.

Charlie Morton will test his arm again Saturday with an "away" start at home against the Washington Nationals. Righthander Joe Ross will be his mound opponent in the 12:05 Central exhibition. In nine spring innings, Morton is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA.

- Bob Hulsey