Wallace's seven-RBI day carries Astros

Wallace's seven-RBI day carries Astros

Wallace's seven-RBI day carries Astros
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Powered by Brett Wallace's grand slam, the Astros toppled the Orioles, 14-8, on Tuesday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.

After a fourth-inning single, Wallace picked the perfect time for his first spring homer, taking Orioles reliever -- and closer hopeful -- Kevin Gregg deep with one out in the fifth. Wallace's homer was the third of four hits allowed by Gregg, whose spring ERA rose to 13.50. Gregg exited after recording just one out.

Wallace finished the day going 4-for-5 with seven RBIs.

Second baseman Bill Hall hit a two-run shot with two outs in the fourth inning, making it 3-1. Hall's homer, also his first of the spring, came off Orioles starter Brad Bergesen.

Bergesen went four innings, allowing the three runs on four hits and finished with two walks and a strikeout against an Astros road squad with only three regulars in the starting lineup. In his last three starts, Bergesen has allowed nine earned runs with 16 hits and a five walks over 9 2/3 innings.

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"I think just putting it all together, just getting in a rhythm, finding a tempo for myself," said Bergesen. "Just attacking guys like I did. Getting ahead of guys. That allows me to get strike one and strike two, and then I can go to work on guys. That's really my style, so that's where I need to get to these next couple starts."

Red-hot Jake Fox continued his bid to make the Orioles, clubbing his team-leading fifth homer off Astros starter Aneury Rodriguez. It was the only run allowed by Rodriguez, who was followed by top pitching prospect Jordan Lyles. Lyles tossed two scoreless frames.

"I felt good coming into today," said Lyles. "I just wanted to continue to throw some, get some fastballs over, then I decided to go to the curveball early. Started working on that, it was kind of difficult getting it down to start off with, but I kept working on it. For the most part, I felt it was a pretty good outing."

The Orioles rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth, with Fox opening the frame with a walk.

Up next for the Astros: The Astros will return home to Kissimmee, Fla., to face the Washington Nationals on Wednesday before taking Thursday's scheduled off-day. Right-hander Brett Myers will take the mound for Houston opposite the Nats' Ross Detwiler. The contest is scheduled for a 12:05 p.m. CT first pitch and will be available on Gameday Audio.

Up next for the Orioles: The Orioles will travel to Tampa, Fla., for the first time this spring for Wednesday night's 7:05 p.m. ET game against the American League East rival Yankees, available on MLB.TV. Likely Opening Day starter Jeremy Guthrie will throw in a Minor League game in Sarasota, while Rick VandenHurk -- who is trying to make the team as a bullpen arm or starter -- will face New York. Right-hander Ivan Nova will get the start for the Yankees.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.