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Harrell goes three solid innings against Tigers

Right-hander allows one run on three hits, while inducing six groundouts

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell, making his second spring start, worked three innings and allowed one run on three hits in a 3-0 loss to the Tigers on Wednesday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.

Harrell recorded six groundouts, which is his forte.

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"I feel like the stuff I've been working on is really starting to pay off, and I'm not missing by a whole lot," Harrell said. "I got a lot of first-pitch strikes. I talked to [pitching coach Brent] Strom before the game, and we said that one thing we wanted to work on was first-pitch strikes, and two of the first three pitches for strikes. And I felt that was a thing I was doing real well today."

Also making his second start of the spring, right-hander Max Scherzer threw three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three batters.

Scherzer, the reigning American League Cy Young winner, threw 25 of his 37 pitches for strikes, retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced. All three strikeouts he recorded were looking, including fanning Astros top prospects Jon Singleton and George Springer to start the second inning.

"I fell behind on some hitters in the first at-bat of the innings," Scherzer said. "Those can lead to walks and long innings when you're not efficient to that first batter. I fell behind 2-0 in the second inning and 2-1 in the third inning. That's part of the process of relentlessly throwing strikes, working ahead of hitters. That's the process of pitching efficiently, not the 1-2-3 innings. It's a process of attacking the zone and getting better."

The Tigers scored in the second when Nick Castellanos hit into a double play that scored Don Kelly, who had singled. Ian Kinsler's two-out, RBI single in the fifth inning off Anthony Bass made it 3-0, with the third run scoring on an error.

Up next: Brad Peacock makes his second appearance of the spring when the Astros face the Mets at 12:05 p.m. CT on Thursday at Osceola County Stadium. Peacock, who's competing for a spot in the rotation, was rocked for five runs and four hits in one inning of work Friday at Detroit and struggled with fastball command. The game is available on MLB.TV

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

Houston Astros, Lucas Harrell