Sunday, March 9, 2014

2014 Grapefruit League Recaps, Games 8 & 9

*I embedded some highlights from, which may take time to fill the wide swaths of empty space in this post.

New York Yankees 9, Houston Astros 6

2014 Grapefruit League record, after this game: 3-5

W- Chase Whitley (1-2)
L- Jose Cisnero (0-1)
S- Chris Leroux (1)

Astros home runs: Chris Carter (1)

After the Astros took a 6-4 lead courtesy of a 3-run homer from Chris Carter in the 5th, the Yankees responded with 5 unanswered (3 in the 6th, 2 in the 7th) to seize control of the game.

Starting Pitcher: Jarred Cosart

Cosart worked around a couple of walks to throw a scoreless 1st inning, striking out 2. In the 2nd, though, he gave up a leadoff single to Dean Anna, and an error on Jose Altuve allowed the Yankees to get on the board. An RBI double from Mason Williams drew the Yankees even in the inning. Cosart left after getting Brett Gardner to ground out for the 2nd out of the inning.

Final line: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 earned), 2 BB, 2 K


Jorge De Leon finished the 2nd by striking out Eduardo Nuñez. 

Darin Downs came on for the next 2 innings and gave up a 2-run homer to Kelly Johnson in the 3rd. He threw a scoreless 4th, and walked 2 in his outing.

Chad Qualls struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 5th.

Jose Cisnero got tagged with the loss, as he gave up the Yankees' 3 runs in the 6th. Only one of those runs were earned. He allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and fanned 1.

Jake Buchanan gave up 2 in the 7th on a pop fly single and a fielder's choice. He also struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 8th.

Nick Tropeano allowed a 1-out single, but nothing came of it as he struck out 2 in a scoreless 9th.


Jason Castro went the other way with a nice 2-run double to open the scoring for the Astros in the 1st.

In the 2nd, Cesar Izturis dropped an RBI single right in between a couple of Yankee outfielders.

And finally, Chris Carter put the Astros in front at that point with this 3-run shot:

It was nice to see Rio Ruiz and Teoscar Hernandez see some action with the big club. They both went 0-1, with Rio drawing a walk and Teoscar scoring a run. Nolan Fontana came on as a pinch-hitter for Izturis in the 9th and doubled.

Philadelphia Phillies 11, Houston Astros 3

2014 Grapefruit League record, after Saturday: 3-6

W- Jesse Biddle (1-0)
L- Collin McHugh (0-1)

Astros home runs: None.

It was not exactly a banner spring training game day as both Astros squads wound up taking losses. This one got away in the middle portions of the game, as the Phillies went on an 11-2 run from the 5th to the 9th.

Starting Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel

Keuchel was excellent, delivering 3 no-hit innings. The only Phillies to reach on him were Chase Utley (via walk in the 1st) and Carlos Ruiz (via error from Matt Dominguez in the 2nd).

Final line: 3 IP, BB, 2 K


Collin McHugh was the first man out, and after a scoreless 4th, the wheels fell off. I'll leave it at that.

Jason Stoffel got the final 2 outs of the 6th, but allowed both of the runners he inherited from McHugh to score, and gave up one of his own.

Luis Cruz got rocked in the 7th; David Martinez had to clean up that mess.

Chia-Jen Lo allowed an unearned run in the 8th; Bobby Doran allowed that run to score, but was able to avoid further damage.


Robbie Grossman put the Astros on the board first with this exquisite hit-and-run:

Houston managed to tie the game at 3, as Jesse Biddle uncorked a wild one...

...and Gregorio Petit poked a hole through the left side of the Phillies infield.

These guys were much more patient than the squad in Kissimmee, outwalking them 9-2.

Japhet Amador made his spring debut for the Astros, going 0-2 with a K after replacing Brett Wallace at DH.

Ruben Sosa and Chris Epps made appearances as pinch-hitters in the 9th. They both grounded out.

Three Stars


Chris Carter, 1B/DH
vs. NYY 1-3, 3-R HR (1) in 5th


Cesar Izturis, SS
vs. NYY: 2-3, RBI single in 2nd


 Dallas Keuchel, LHP
@PHI: 3 IP, BB, 2 K

Honorable Mentions: Jose Altuve, Jason Castro

Next Up

The Astros will have a full squad in Kissimmee to welcome the Blue Jays. Rudy Owens will look to rebound from a rough first start as he takes on R.A. Dickey at 1:05 Eastern.

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