DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) - Houston outfield prospect George Springer impressed during his first start in two big league spring training camps.
Springer hit a three-run homer off Jeremy Jeffress in the fourth inning and a two-run drive against Claudio Vargas in the fifth, helping the Astros over the Toronto Blue Jays 10-1 Wednesday.
``It's always good to have some success, but it's better to help us win,' said Springer, taken by Houston with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. ``We beat a great Toronto team today that's an outstanding lineup over there but as a team, we swung the bat well and, obviously, threw the ball well.'
The rebuilding Astros, 29th among the 30 big league teams in batting average last year, had 18 hits, including two each by Springer, J.D. Martinez, Matt Dominguez and Carlos Corporan.
Astros starter Alex White allowed one hit in two scoreless innings in his spring training debut. White, taken by Cleveland with the 15th pick of the 2009 draft, as obtained from Colorado during the offseason for right-hander Wilton Lopez. White was 2-9 with a 5.51 ERA for the Rockies last season.
``Our system would tell us that he is better,' Astros manager Bo Porter said. ``A lot of times when a player goes from Cleveland to Colorado, there are some aspects of their report that you probably just want to throw out. You look at the stuff and you say to yourself that I believe this stuff would play better in our ballpark. It's a big arm. We believe that his best years of baseball are definitely ahead of him.'
Houston chased starter Brad Lincoln two outs into his spring training debut. The right-hander faced six batters, allowing four runs on a single, two doubles and a walk.
Blue Jays leadoff batter Jose Reyes raised his spring batting average to .625 with three singles. Reyes is 5 for 8 with five singles in three games.
J.P. Arencibia homered in the third off Wesley Wright. Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, three of the top four hitters in Toronto's starting batting order, going a combined 1 for 9, with a single by Cabrera.
``Everybody's expecting us to be automatic, but you look around the league. There's a lot of teams out there that can win this thing,' Toronto manager John Gibbons said. ``You have teams that have been through it and they expect to win. They're used to winning, and those guys got the advantage there. But we still haven't done anything with so many new guys. You hope it comes together, but you never really know for sure.'
NOTES: Having lost track of the words during two attempts at ``O Canada' that he cut short without finishing, anthem singer Jeff Fuller then broke into ``The Star-Spangled Banner.' He lost track of those words, as well, but fans sang along and he made it through. Fans applauded as he left the field. ``Ahah how bout the guy singing the national anthems today ??' Toronto's Brett Lawrie tweeted. ``Ahah woee boyy.' ... Blue Jays 1B Lars Anderson met with reporters for the first time since being claimed off waivers from the Chicago White Sox on Monday.
The Associated Press News Service
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