Springer, Castro show power stroke against Blue Jays

Oberholtzer tosses 71 pitches in first spring start in nearly three weeks

Springer, Castro show power stroke against Blue Jays

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Danny Valencia, Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak each walloped home runs in the first two innings off Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer to lead the Blue Jays to a 7-4 win Monday night at Osceola County Stadium.

Daniel Norris, Toronto's top prospect, who is on track to start Game 3 of the regular season, fanned eight over six innings, allowing four runs on five hits.

"I'm actually glad that happened tonight, just being able to bounce back and make the adjustment in-game," Norris said of facing some adversity by allowing four runs in the first three innings. "It was a good finish. It was one of those nights where 90 percent of the mistakes I made got hit. That's baseball, I guess."

Valencia hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and Colabello added his second homer of the spring one out later. Smoak led off the second inning with a shot to straightaway center field to give the Blue Jays a 4-1 lead.

The Astros played some early long ball as well, getting leadoff homers from Jason Castro and George Springer in the second and third innings, respectively, against Norris. Springer's homer came only moments after he made a terrific leaping catch at the wall to rob Colabello of a second homer in the top of the inning.

Oberholtzer, making his first Grapefruit League start in nearly three weeks because of a lat strain and a subsequent bout with an illness, was able to get stretched out to 71 pitches, but he allowed five hits and five earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Up next: Rookie Asher Wojciechowski gets the ball when the Astros face the Braves at 5:05 p.m. CT Tuesday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., live on Gameday Audio. Wojciechowski is battling for a spot in the rotation with veteran Roberto Hernandez, but the uncertainty surrounding Oberholtzer's availability for the start of the regular season means Wojciechowski could find his way into the rotation.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.