HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Astros made the fewest errors of any team during spring training.
It was hard to tell in the regular-season opener.
Pinch runner Eric Young scored the go-ahead run on one of the Astros' four errors and Troy Tulowitzki homered in the ninth to lift the Colorado Rockies to a 5-3 win on Friday night.
The Astros committed only 13 errors in spring training, and manager Brad Mills was concerned about the number of mental lapses in the first real game.
``Those things we're going to address and move on,' Mills said. ``They did a great job of that in spring training, but we're going to work on those and move on.'
Houston left-hander Wandy Rodriguez made his first career opening-day start and allowed three unearned runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings. Fernando Rodriguez (0-1) yielded a hit and an unearned run in 1 2-3 innings to take the loss.
Carlos Lee and Brian Bogusevic hit back-to-back homers for the Astros, who lost for the sixth straight time on opening day.
Lee put Houston up 1-0 with a two-out RBI single off Jeremy Guthrie (1-0) in the first inning.
The Astros' defense started bumbling in the third, after Marco Scutaro led off with a single to left. Dexter Fowler bunted, Rodriguez threw wildly to first and the Rockies had runners at second and third with no outs.
Rodriguez earned the error, though second baseman Jose Altuve was late getting to the bag.
``It was a tough play,' Rodriguez said. ``I picked up the ball and threw to first, but there was nobody there.'
Tulowitzki tied it with a deep flyout to right, and Fowler scored on Todd Helton's double to the left-field corner. Michael Cuddyer then singled to right, scoring Helton and prompting a mound visit from Houston pitching coach Doug Brocail.
Rodriguez said he struggled with his control early.
``I missed my location in the first inning. Later in the game, I felt good,' he said. ``I didn't have my second-best pitch, my breaking ball, but I used my changeup and my two-seam (fastball).'
Lee and Bogusevic started the Houston half of the fourth with solo homers. The Astros last hit back-to-back home runs Sept. 7 against Pittsburgh.
Rodriguez allowed only one hit, a two-out single by Cuddyer in the fifth, after Colorado's three-run third. Fowler led off the seventh with a walk, and Rodriguez struck out Carlos Gonzalez before he was relieved by right-hander Fernando Rodriguez.
The Rockies capitalized on another Astros mistake to take the lead for good.
Ramon Hernandez led off the eighth with a single. Young came in to run and stole second on a close call.
Houston catcher Jason Castro then bobbled a pitch, and Young broke for third. Castro threw to shortstop Marwin Gonzalez, but the throw was high and carried into center field, allowing Young to sprint home.
``I was trying to get him at second and unfortunately, we didn't get him there,' Castro said.
A total of 10 Astros were on an opening-day roster for the first time. Lee, starting his sixth season in Houston, acknowledged he was nervous before the game, but Castro shot down the notion that the miscues were the result of first-game jitters.
``It's the first game. Obviously, everyone's excited,' Castro said. ``I don't think it was a nervous energy, or anything like that. We had a couple of things that just didn't go our way.'
Guthrie allowed three runs and four hits over seven innings in his first start with Colorado. He threw 103 pitches.
Tulowitzki crushed a solo homer onto the railroad tracks in left field in the ninth inning against left-hander Fernando Abad.
In the bottom of the ninth, pinch hitter Travis Buck doubled and Castro walked with two outs against Rafael Betancourt. Pinch hitter Matt Downs struck out swinging to end it.
NOTES: The Astros have an average age of 27.82. Only the Royals have a younger team with an average age of 27.42. ... Helton has started the last 15 opening days for Colorado, which is the longest active streak in the majors. ... The Rockies are opening on the road for the fourth time in five seasons. ... Former President George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara attended the game. They weren't in their customary front-row seats behind home plate, instead sitting in the second row near Houston's dugout. ... Former Texas quarterback Vince Young also attended the game and was on the field for batting practice. ... The teams continue the series on Saturday with 49-year-old Jamie Moyer pitching for the Rockies against Houston's Lucas Harrell.
The Associated Press News Service
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