Arencibia stays hot in win over Astros

Arencibia stays hot in win over Astros

BLUE JAYS 4, ASTROS 1
at Kissimmee, Fla.
Monday, March 8

Astros at the plate: J.R. Towles, serving as the designated hitter, went 3-for-4 to improve to 8-for-12 this spring. Towles had three of Houston's seven hits, as Michael Bourn, Cory Sullivan, Jason Castro and Tommy Manzella had the other hits. Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence each went 0-for-3, combining to go 0-for-9. Chris Johnson also went 0-for-3.

Jays at the plate: Catching prospect J.P. Arencibia went 1-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. Lyle Overbay, Brian Dopirak, Jorge Padilla and John McDonald had two hits apiece to lead Toronto's 14-hit attack. Overbay, Brad Emaus and McDonald joined Arencibia in picking up RBIs.

Astros on the mound: Bud Norris made his first start of the spring and allowed two hits, two walks and struck out two batters in two innings. He gave up one earned run. Tim Byrdak was roughed up in relief, giving up three hits and two walks in one inning. Gustavo Chacin and Yorman Bazardo continue to struggle, with Chacin allowing three hits and one run in one inning and Bazardo three hits in one inning. He pitched his way out of a bases-loaded jam.

Jays on the mound: Left-hander Ricky Romero made his second spring start and held the Astros scoreless over three innings, striking out two and allowing no walks. Fellow lefty Dana Eveland followed and was even better, allowing one hit and striking out two in three innings. Chad Jenkins gave up one run in two innings, and Zach Stewart pitched a scoreless ninth.

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Worth noting: Norris was forced to change his glove after the first inning because the umpire thought it was too light in color. Norris switched to a black glove, which he doesn't favor because the leather doesn't allow him to open it as wide. Norris likes to be able to open the glove wide to be able to hide the grip on his ball better from batters who might be standing on second or third base.

Grapefruit League records: Astros 2-3, Jays 5-1

Up next: After an off-day Tuesday, the Blue Jays return to Dunedin, Fla., on Wednesday to meet the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. ET, with Lance Broadway getting the start for Toronto. Kyle Drabek is also scheduled to pitch for the Jays, marking his first appearance against the Phils since they traded him to Toronto in the deal that sent Roy Halladay to Philadelphia. The Jays will also play a "B" game against the Phillies at 10 a.m. in Clearwater, Fla., with Brandon Morrow starting.

Having gone through their rotation once, the Astros will send Brett Myers to the mound for his second start of the spring when they face the Mets on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Myers allowed three runs (two earned) and walked three in his first start last week. Houston will play without the meat of its batting order -- Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence, who aren't making the trip.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.