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Martes feels strong despite tough outing

Special to MLB.com

Francis Martes' first Grapefruit League start wasn't a particularly memorable one.

Houston's top prospect, as ranked by MLBPipeline.com, didn't make it out of the first inning on Saturday in the Astros' 4-2 loss to the Marlins at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

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Francis Martes' first Grapefruit League start wasn't a particularly memorable one.

Houston's top prospect, as ranked by MLBPipeline.com, didn't make it out of the first inning on Saturday in the Astros' 4-2 loss to the Marlins at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

View Full Game Coverage

Martes recorded just one out, while giving up a run on one hit. He walked two and struck out one.

Martes got the start when right-hander Mike Fiers was scratched due to right hamstring discomfort. He wasted little time bringing the heat, however. Martes threw fastballs clocked at 98 and 96 mph to Marlins leadoff batter Miguel Rojas, who slapped an offspeed pitch for a single.

Video: MIA@HOU: Hinch discusses Martes' outing vs. Marlins

A pick-off throw that got past first baseman Colin Moran appeared to somewhat unnerve the hard-throwing righty, who uncorked a wild pitch and then walked the next batter he faced.

"It's never a good thing to happen, but it's part of the game," said Moran. "While I felt uncomfortable after it happened, you have to move forward and it's part of the game."

He got a strikeout, but then issued his second walk of the inning and his day was done after just 30 pitches (17 for strikes).

"I think I could have done a better job, but physically I feel very strong," Martes said. "I wasn't missing by much, but in the big leagues, the strike zone is a little bit tighter than in the Minor Leagues, so I'm learning how to deal with that and work on that."

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Astros on Saturday.

Houston Astros, Francis Martes