MLB

Was
2
FINAL
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
R
H
E
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
2
7
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
2
x
4
11
1
TV:
Hou
4

Astros 4, Nationals 2

Share This Story

   
 

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP)

Gio Gonzalez tuned up for his World Baseball Classic start with a strong start for Washington.

The 21-game winner from last season doesn't expect to be around the Nationals after Sunday when he will join the United States for the WBC - assuming the Americans advance to the elimination round.

''I'm still working on stuff, and I felt like I was building more strength,'' Gonzalez said Thursday after pitching three shutout innings in a 4-2 exhibition loss to the Houston Astros. ''This time I was throwing the curveball, throwing the changeup for strikes, trying to get all three pitches in effect coming up on the Classic.''

The 27-year-old left-hander is set up for Tuesday's start in his hometown of Miami.

''I've still got more work to do, more tuning up,'' he said. ''I've still got to go out there and pitch more innings.''

He threw 42 pitches against the Astros, giving up three hits while striking out three, and then threw 23 more pitches in the bullpen.

''I'm excited,'' said Gonzalez, who led the major leagues in wins in 2012 and finished third in the National League Cy Young vote. ''I can't wait to join up with the team in Miami and just have some fun. Hopefully I can bring something to the team where we keep it nice and loose over there.''

Astros starter Philip Humber gave up one hit in four innings, and Jason Castro drove in the winning runs with an eighth-inning single off losing pitcher Ryan Mattheus.

The 30-year-old Humber, who threw the 21st perfect game in big league history last April 22, took another solid step toward making the Astros' starting rotation in his second spring start.

''I'm still not where I want to be yet. I didn't throw all that many breaking balls, but that'll come,'' Humber said. ''We're still pretty early, but I'm definitely pleased with what happened today.''

So was manager Bon Porter, who is still looking for at least one more starting pitcher.

''Today was a great day all the way around,'' said Porter, who had criticized his team's erratic play earlier this week. ''(We had) attention to detail, and it starts on the mound. ... Humber set the tone and everybody that came behind him followed it.''

Corey Brown's bloop double was the only hit off Humber, who was released by the Chicago White Sox after going 5-5 season with a 6.44 earned run average last season.

''Right now the hitters are a little behind the pitchers, for the most part, so when the season comes I'm going to have to throw more off-speed pitches than I did today,'' he said. ''But it was definitely a good sign; (the fastball) is the first thing to come usually and everything else follows after.

''I'm not concerned with results right now. Of course I'm trying to make my pitches, but . . . I'm focused on the process right now, and I feel good about where I'm at.''

Castro's hit drove in Fernando Martinez, who had two of Houston's 11 hits, and Rick Ankiel.

Josh Zeid got the win for the Astros.

Michael Taylor drove in both of the Nationals' runs with an eighth-inning single off Zeid, who relieved Dallas Keuchel with the bases loaded.

NOTES: Paul Clemens pitched the ninth inning for a save . . . Houston first baseman Carlos Pena committed the game's only error when he lost Sandy Leon's high chopper in the sun, leading to an unearned run. ''I just squeezed it too early, I think, or too late,'' Pena said . . . Jordan Lyles will start for Houston on Friday against the Braves . . . Jordan Zimmermann is scheduled to start for the Nationals against the Cardinals.

Tagged: Astros, Nationals, Philip Humber, Gio Gonzalez

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..