Wojciechowski makes strong case to win rotation job with solid start
By Brian McTaggart and Todd Zolecki
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa powered the Astros to a 7-1 victory over the Phillies on Wednesday at Bright House Field.
Correa, who is the Astros' top prospect, doubled to score a run in the second inning and hit a solo home run to left field in the fourth inning against Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who is competing for the fifth spot in Philadelphia's rotation.
Hank Conger followed Correa's homer in the fourth with a solo home run to right field. It was Conger's first of the spring.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gonzalez struggles: The right-hander did not help his cause to make the rotation. He allowed eight hits, four runs, two home runs and struck out one in four innings. He has a 7.53 ERA in five Grapefruit League appearances.
Wojciechowski shines again: Astros right-hander Asher Wojciechowski made another strong case for winning a spot in the rotation by allowing four hits and one run in 4 2/3 innings. He didn't walk a batter and struck out four, and has allowed only two runs in 16 2/3 frames this spring.
Grossman, Villar banged up: Astros outfielders Robbie Grossman and Jonathan Villar were removed from the game in the fifth inning following a collision an inning earlier. Grossman was removed with a bruised left quad and Villar with a mild right ankle sprain, suffered when they collided in right-center field in the fourth inning. Villar, starting in center field, made a sliding catch to rob Chase Utley of a hit and took the legs out from under Grossman, who was charging over from right field.
Rupp raking:Cameron Rupp is on his way to making his first Opening Day roster as the Phillies' backup catcher. He doubled in the fifth inning and is hitting .391 in 11 Grapefruit League games. He has outplayed his only competition, veteran Koyie Hill (0-for-11).
"He worked our guys very, very well. He had a couple of key pitch calls that got us out of a situation where we had runners on base. He swung the bat very well and had a great baserunning play that will go unnoticed. He had a good all-around day." -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch on Conger, who caught nine innings Wednesday
"They hit all of them." -- Gonzalez, when asked if any particular pitch caused him problems in his four innings of work
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• Ben Revere and Odubel Herrera have started four consecutive games together, with Revere in left field and Herrera in center field. It could be a look Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg uses in season.
• In their last two games, Astros relievers have allowed two hits in 7 1/3 scoreless innings.
The Astros are off Thursday, but they return to Grapefruit League action at 5:05 p.m. CT on Friday when they face the Marlins at Osceola County Stadium. Fans can listen to all the action live on Gameday Audio. Dallas Keuchel, the team's Opening Day starter, will make another tuneup in advance of the start of the season. Most of the Astros regulars will start after having Wednesday off.