Astros prospects go back to back; Keuchel continues scoreless streak
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Carlos Correa and Jon Singleton hit back-to-back homers in the top of the third inning, and Correa added a two-run shot in the eighth inning as the Astros defeated the Blue Jays, 7-5, on Thursday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
The successive swats from the two prospects came off Blue Jays right-hander Esmil Rogers, who allowed four runs over his three innings of work. It was a rather rough afternoon for the Toronto starter as he surrendered five hits and two walks despite recording six strikeouts.
Houston opened the scoring in the top of the second inning. Rogers walked two of the first three batters he faced and eventually surrendered a two-run single off the bat of Cesar Izturis. The Astros continued their production in the following inning as Correa and Singleton launched their first home runs of the spring.
"My pitches were a little bit high, I lost my control and tried to bring it back," said Rogers, who was making his fourth appearance of the spring. "I gave up a couple of homers back to back and tried to bring back all of my pitches again."
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel got the start for Houston and didn't allow a run over the course of his four innings. He allowed six hits but didn't issue a walk while striking out two in his third appearance of the spring. Keuchel has yet to surrender an earned run during the Grapefruit League season in nine innings of work.
The Blue Jays eventually got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jose Reyes got an RBI on a grounder to short and Jose Bautista later sent another runner across the plate with a sacrifice fly to center field. The final run of the inning came on an RBI double by Blue Jays infielder Dan Johnson.
Outfielder Melky Cabrera was one of the standouts on offense for the Blue Jays as he went 2-for-3 with a double. Reyes also went 2-for-3 with the RBI and a run scored before he was lifted from the game after the fifth inning for Ryan Goins.
Correa put the game away with his second homer, a two-run drive off Toronto right-hander Neil Wagner that plated Gregorio Petit, who had doubled to lead off the eighth.
Up next for the Astros: Right-hander Jarred Cosart will make his third start of the spring on Friday as the Astros welcome the Cardinals to Osceola County Stadium for a 12:05 p.m. CT contest. The game can be watched live on MLB.TV. Cosart, who's given up two runs on two hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings, will be followed by right-handers Mike Foltynewicz and Josh Fields, lefties Darin Downs and Raul Valdes and right-hander Rhiner Cruz. St. Louis is slated to start right-hander Michael Wacha.