Feldman returns to action in win over Jays

Feldman returns to action in win over Jays

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros right-hander Scott Feldman made his return to the mound on Sunday afternoon and tossed two scoreless innings in Houston's 7-1 victory over the Blue Jays.

Feldman made it look easy by retiring all six batters he faced, which included a strikeout of second baseman Ryan Goins in the first inning. It was the first outing for Feldman since he suffered a shoulder sprain on Sept. 1. The veteran starter did not require offseason surgery and instead opted for rest and rehab before reporting to camp feeling strong.

The 33-year-old Feldman is competing with Doug Fister and Mike Fiers for one of the final two spots in the starting rotation. In addition to the strikeout, he retired five batters via routine ground balls against a Toronto lineup that featured only three members of its projected Opening Day lineup.

Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus exacted a small measure of revenge against his former team with a home run to right field off right-hander Marcus Stroman. Rasmus lifted the ball high into the air, and it landed just over the wall in right field and beyond the outstretched glove of Darrell Ceciliani for Rasmus' first homer of the spring.

The shot by Rasmus was the lone blemish against Stroman, who is expected to start the year as Toronto's No. 1 starter. Stroman allowed that one run on one hit and didn't walk a batter while striking out four over three innings. Jesse Chavez -- who is technically competing for the final spot in the rotation -- then entered and allowed one run on one hit and two walks over his two innings of work.

"I felt great, my body has felt great," Stroman said. "My doctors have put me in a great position, and I feel extremely strong out there on the mound. I feel like everything is moving very easy, I'm getting on top of pitches, and I'm getting pretty good action here early."

Domonic Brown had a triple and later scored for the Blue Jays on a fly ball that got lost in the sun. Kevin Pillar, Goins and Justin Smoak were the lone regulars in the lineup because of the long drive from Dunedin to Kissimmee, and the three players combined to go hitless in eight at-bats, though Smoak did draw a walk in the seventh.

Jon Singleton drove in three runs for the Astros, who used a five-run eighth to seal the victory.

Up next for Blue Jays: Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will make his second start of the spring when the Blue Jays host the Braves in a 1:05 p.m. ET start on Monday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Dickey is expected to go three innings and will be followed by Aaron Sanchez, Drew Storen, Brett Cecil and Roberto Osuna. The home game also means Toronto is expected to start a lot of its regular position players, but Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion will not debut until later in the week.

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Up next for Astros: Mike Fiers gets the nod on Monday when the Astros travel to Tampa for a 12:05 p.m. CT matchup with the Yankees. The veteran right-hander went 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA for Houston in 10 appearances (nine starts) last year after being acquired in a Trade Deadline deal with the Brewers. The Yanks will counter with righty Michael Pineda.

Listen to the action live on Gameday Audio.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.