Feldman goes four innings, still working on command
Astros right-hander allows three runs on eight hits, including a pair of homers
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Gio Gonzalez allowed three hits and one run in 4 2/3 innings, and Steven Souza Jr. hit a pair of solo home runs and added an RBI triple to lead the Nationals to a 4-3 win over the Astros on Sunday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.
Gonzalez retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced before Matt Dominguez doubled with one out in the fifth inning and scored on an L.J. Hoes single. He walked one batter and struck out four while throwing 68 pitches (40 strikes).
"I mixed in all my pitches, got my changeup in counts I wanted to throw it," Gonzalez said. "I got over [to cover first], which is something I wanted to work on this spring. I got over a couple of times, which was nice to see to finally beat a runner to first. All in all, some good, positive feedback, and guys looked like they were having fun."
Souza homered to left field with one out in the second inning and repeated the feat two innings later when he got a Scott Feldman pitch into the air and watched it sail over the fence with the help of a brisk wind. That gave the Nats a 2-0 lead.
Souza's RBI triple in the seventh off Brad Peacock put Washington ahead, 4-2, and the Astros got the run back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double by Jon Singleton, which scored top prospect Carlos Correa.
Feldman, the Astros' likely Opening Day starter, worked four-plus innings and gave up eight hits and three runs while striking out five batters. He threw 82 pitches.
"I'm still working on things and trying to get that command going to where I know where the ball is going a little better," Feldman said. "I made some mistakes and they hit some fly balls, especially out here in Spring Training, they're going to go a long ways."
Up next: Left-hander Brett Oberholtzer gets another chance to try to win a spot in the starting rotation when the Astros face the Braves at 12:05 p.m. CT Monday in Kissimmee, Fla., on Gameday Audio. Oberholtzer, who was arguably the Astros' best pitcher in the second half of last season, has appeared in two Grapefruit League games and allowed six earned runs in four innings. He hasn't pitched in a big league game since throwing two innings against Washington on March 7.