Results tagged ‘ home run ’

Game 8: Astros slug three homers, rally to tie Cards

What happened: The Astros came from four runs down, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, to earn their second tie of the spring, 8-8, against the Cardinals on Friday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium (boxscore).

“Just a great job by the whole group, just coming back and battling, battling, battling and getting into hitter’s counts and putting good swings on the ball,” manager Bo Porter said.

More on Porter in this video:

What we learned: OF George Springer has a hot bat. Literally. Springer, who homered twice earlier in the week, didn’t go deep Friday, but he gave his bat to OF Chris Carter and told him he’d hit a home run. Carter blasted a long blast to left field in the fifth, finally showing the kind of power we’d heard about when he came over from Oakland.

“It feels good to finally square up a ball,” Carter said. “The last few at-bats I’ve been struggling making solid contact. You want to impress early and quick, but you have to stick with what you’re doing.”

What we learned II: Porter is going to have some tough roster decisions to make. IF Brandon Laird is having a terrific spring and slugged his second homer on Friday — one day after hitting a grand slam — and OF Brandon Barnes homered for the second time this spring. Both are battling for the few roster spots, but they’re certainly helping their cause.

“As camp goes along, you want to make it to the end of camp and have tough decisions,” Porter said. “When you come into camp and have competition and one guys runs away with it, you say to yourself, ‘Wow, we must not have too much depth.’ The fact we have great competition for the roster spots going on in camp, lets us know from an organizational standpoint we have a lot of depth.”

What else: RHP Jose Veras, in his final performance before leaving for the World Baseball Classic, had a 1-2-3 fourth inning with two strikeouts. … The Astros bashed out 12 more hitters with a pair of catchers — Rene Garcia and Jason Jaramillo — having two hits apiece. … RHP Bud Norris looked strong, allowing two runs and two hits in three innings, but he had a pair of 1-2-3 innings. … Josh Zeid, Rhiner Cruz and Josh Fields each threw a scoreless, hitless inning.

What went wrong: For the second day in a row, an error opened the door for the opposition. The Cardinals scored two unearned runs in the fifth after a Brett Wallace error, and a Jake Elmore error at shortstop in the sixth led to three unearned runs with Paul Clemens on the mound.

“From a standpoint of it being Spring Training, these are teachable moments and you stress it to the ballplayers that cannot give up extra outs,” Porter said. “When get the ball, handle the ball, take care of the ball. The more men that get on base, the more opportunities they have to score.”

What they said: “I felt a lot better. It’s great to get your legs under you and you go out and compete. I’m still working on some things, just trying to stay back over the rubber and trying to find my delivery and all that. I felt good and I’m excited to keep it going.” — RHP Bud Norris on his second spring outing.

What’s next: LHP Dallas Keuchel gets his first start of the spring when the Astros face the Braves at Osceola County Stadium at 12:05 p.m. CT Saturday. Keuchel has a relief appearance under his belt, but he’s competing for a spot in the rotation. RHP Philip Humber will throw in the game as well as the Astros try to divvy up starts.

Who’s injured: RHP Hector Ambriz (ankle) continues to ease closer to game action. … C Max Stassi (sports hernia surgery) is out until early April.

Links of the day: Astros OF J.D. Martinez admits he put too much pressure on himself last year. Now, he’s trying to retool his swing and win a spot on the club. The Astros notebook has hitting coach John Mallee’s thoughts on the team’s hot start at the plate, Bo Porter talking about roster construction and RHP Paul Clemens’ thoughts on his career.

Tweet of the day:

The day in photos:

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Vince Coleman and Bo Porter

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Jimmy Paredes and Bo Porter

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Delino DeShields Jr.

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Tyler Greene catches up with old teammate

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Robbie Grossman, Jimmy Paredes, George Springer and Vince Coleman

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Dave Clark gets animated

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Rick Ankiel and Tyler Greene

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Jose Altuve

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Old friend J.R. Towles is with the Cardinals

Controversial call forces Wade to call league

Astros general manager Ed Wade spoke with a Major League Baseball official by telephone during Tuesday’s night game at Busch Stadium to voice his displeasure about a controversial home run by Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols not being overturned by instant replay.

Not long after the umpires didn’t reverse the call despite replay evidence showing Pujols’ ball hit the top of the padded wall and bounced back into play, Wade called Joe Garagiola Jr., baseball’s senior vice president of standards and on-field operations, from his home in Houston.

“I already knew it’s not an issue you can protest,” he said. “It’s not a rules interpretation; it’s an umpire’s judgment, so from that standpoint as far as having any recourse, there really isn’t any. I indicated to Joe we thought the call was wrong and would appreciate the Commissioner’s office looking at it because obviously it had a significant impact on the game last night and replay is there to remedy close calls, and we thought that one clearly showed it wasn’t a home run. We couldn’t understand why the decision was made.”

Jim Reynolds, the umpiring crew chief, told a reporter that a replay from a side angle showed the ball hitting the top of the padded wall and skipping over it and then striking a cement wall before caroming back onto the field. The two-run homer by Pujols was the difference in the Astros’ 3-1 loss to the Cardinals.

“We didn’t see it that way,” Wade said. “It’s subject to interpretation. We’ve got this policy in place to review close calls like that. In a perfect world it solves these issues immediately. That one, we just respectfully disagree with the solution.”

Astros manager Brad Mills was upset after the game and said changes need to be made to baseball’s use of instant replay, which began in 2008.

Reaction to HR controversy

Astros manager Brad Mills was angry Tuesday night after the umpiring crew at Busch Stadium didn’t overturn a controversial home run call in the first inning. Albert Pujols’ two-run home run, which appeared to hit the top of the wall and come back into play, was upheld after the umpires consulting replay.

Here are some reactions from both clubhouses and the umpires locker room:

Mills: “The whole system, I think, has to be reviewed if everyone looks at it and says it’s not a home run. The reason being, somebody in New York is supposed to have seen it. That’s my understanding, and they should have seen the same thing everybody saw. I totally don’t understand it. The whole thing’s got to be reviewed, especially if they go back and look at it and screw it up. We’ve got to be able to protest it or something. Something’s amiss here. The whole thing’s got to be reviewed.”

CF Michael Bourn, who was closest to the play: “I didn’t think it went over. [Pujols] told me at first base it did, but I didn’t think it did. I thought it hit the top and came back. The way it bounced back to me, I thought if it went over it would have hit that concrete and kept going the other way. When it hit, it hit the thing and bounced right back to me, so that’s why I played it like that. The umpires ruled it was a home run, so what could you do about that? That was the end of it from there.”

RHP Brett Myers, who gave up the homer: “I heard it hit the wall. If it hit the concrete behind it, it wouldn’t have made the noise it made. He hit it good, there’s no doubt about it. I looked at it on a couple of [replay] angles and I don’t know how they missed it really, unless they looked at it from one angle and said ‘Oh yeah, it’s a homer, it hit the concrete behind it.’ It didn’t look like it on there.”

Umpire crew chief Jim Reynolds: “Once it crosses that pad, anything after that is a home run. So what we saw on the replay was the ball skip off the top of the pad, hit the concrete behind it and come back. Once it hit that concrete, once the replay that we looked at showed that it hit the concrete behind it, then it’s a home run.”

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa: “Normally you don’t get a rebound like that unless it hits something behind the fence, like the railing or it hits the cement or something. If it comes off the wall, you don’t get that kind of [rebound]. We had a good feeling that they made the right call. You don’t get that kind of bounce back unless it hits something really hard. You don’t even get it off a sign.”

Pujols: “It was tough for me to see, but the whole reason I thought it was a home run was because it bounced like 10 yards over his head. it had to hit something hard. I thought it hit the little concrete behind the pad. I don’t think hitting that pad it would have gone that far over his head.”

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