Astros start fast, but tie with Marlins

Astros start fast, but tie with Marlins

ASTROS 10, MARLINS 10 (10 innings)
at Jupiter, Fla.
Monday, March 24

Astros at the plate: Geoff Blum had a two-run double and an RBI single in his first two at-bats, but the shortstop exited in the bottom of the second inning with a left heel problem suffered during a swing in the first inning. Blum also was shaken up on a hard grounder off the bat of Cameron Maybin, but he remained in the game. Blum, Ty Wigginton, Jose Cruz Jr., Darin Erstad and Mark Loretta each had two hits. Wigginton doubled and singled, driving in two runs in his first two at-bats. The Astros used five straight hits, including successive doubles by Wigginton, Blum and Cruz, on their way to a four-run first. Tomas Perez and Cruz connected on back-to-back homers off Doug Waechter in the fifth inning.

Marlins at the plate: After a falling behind by four runs in the top of the first inning, the Marlins strung together five straight singles to open their half of the first. Dallas McPherson and Mike Jacobs each had RBI hits in a three-run inning. In a three-run third inning, Luis Gonzalez delivered a two-run double. Matt Treanor, playing in his first game since March 12, had an RBI single in three at-bats. Alexis Gomez had an RBI triple in the sixth inning. Alejandro De Aza tied the game in the ninth inning with a sacrifice fly.

Astros on the mound: Shawn Chacon gutted out five innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits. The right-hander stretched out to 96 pitches, with 61 strikes, before he was relieved by Brian Moehler in the sixth inning.

Marlins on the mound: Prospect Chris Volstad, the 21-year-old first-round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, had a rough outing, giving up seven runs on eight hits in two innings. The right-hander walked two and struck out one, logging 60 pitches in a short stint. Waechter gave up a pair of homers in the fifth inning, and worked three innings of long relief in Volstad. Renyel Pinto returned from a toe problem, and threw a scoreless sixth inning.

Grapefruit League records: Marlins 17-8-3, Astros 12-14-1.

Up next for the Astros: The Astros travel to Lakeland on Tuesday to take on the Tigers in a 5:05 p.m. CT start. Chris Sampson brings a 1-1 record and 8.79 ERA this spring into the game for the Astros. He comes off a five inning stint, where he gave up three runs against the Nationals. Detroit will start Justin Verlander.

Up next for the Marlins: Rained out on Saturday at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the Marlins return again to Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday to take on the Orioles at 1:05 p.m. ET. Scott Olsen, who will open the season as the fourth starter, will take the hill. Baltimore is going with Jon Leicester.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.