Astros 6, Cubs 3

Houston’s prospects got the best of the Chicago Cubs on

Saturday.

Playing a lineup of mostly minor leaguers in their last

exhibition game, the Astros beat the Cubs 6-3. The Cubs began the

game with most of their regular starters.

Chicago second baseman Darwin Barney was shaken up after taking

a tumble into some railing chasing a foul ball in the third inning.

Barney fell to the ground before crashing into the railing near

Houston’s dugout. He got up quickly and walked off the field, but

was taken out of the game.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Barney received five stitches on

his left knee from the spill, and that he definitely wouldn’t play

in Chicago’s opener Monday. The cut is on his knee cap, and Barney

said it was so deep he could ”pretty much see my bone.”

”I was going full speed,” Barney said of the collision. ”I

kind of put my head down to get to the spot, and I overran it, so

thinking I was going to protect myself, I slid and went down.

Unfortunately for me, for some reason there is a concrete slab

right there on the edge of the field. I hit that and didn’t think

anything of it. I stood up and walked and felt fine. The rest is

history.”

He’s wearing a brace that doesn’t allow his knee to bend so the

cut can heal quicker.

Astros shortstop, 18-year-old Carlos Correa, the top overall

pick in the 2012 draft, went 3 for 4 with a sacrifice fly.

”This is what you work for every single day of your life, and I

felt prepared for the opportunity,” Correa said before packing up

to head back to the minors. ”It’s amazing playing with these

players and our new manager Bo Porter. It was really

exciting.”

Houston right fielder Domingo Santana was a home run shy of the

cycle and drove in two runs.

”It was a good experience and I never knew that this would come

so fast,” said Santana, who will start the season at Double-A.

”Everything just went well. It gives me a little bit of confidence

and it will make me work even harder so I can stay here.”

Cubs starter Travis Wood yielded five hits and two runs with a

spring-best seven strikeouts in 4 1-3 innings. It was an

improvement from his last start when he allowed seven hits and four

runs in four innings.

Chicago began taking out its starters in the third inning.

Houston starter Brad Peacock allowed two hits and no runs in

three innings. He posted a 2.78 ERA this spring to nab the fourth

spot in the Astros rotation after spending the 2012 season at

Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate.

Cubs closer Carlos Marmol allowed two hits and a run in 2-3

innings to leave his ERA this spring at 6.10. He yielded four hits

and six runs without getting an out in his last start.

”He actually threw the ball pretty good today,” Sveum said.

”His slider was really good. Weak contact and have to make the

plays.”

Correa’s first hit came when the normally sure-handed Barney

grabbed the grounder, but dropped it before he could throw it to

first base earlier in the third inning. He added another single

when a fly ball dropped in front of diving right fielder Jae-Hoon

Ha in the seventh and a third single in the eighth.

Santana hit a ground-rule double which bounced off the hill in

center field and over the wall to score a run for Houston in the

second inning.

Santana singled in the fifth and scored on a sacrifice fly by

Correa. He added an RBI triple in the sixth inning.

Chicago’s Dave Sappelt had a nice defensive play when he climbed

up the wall in center field to rob J.D. Martinez of a hit in the

fourth inning.

The Cubs didn’t score until the eighth inning when Steve

Clevenger hit a two-run double and scored on a single by Nate

Schierholtz.

NOTES: The Astros open the season on Sunday when they host the

Texas Rangers. … Chicago has a day off Sunday before opening the

season at Pittsburgh on Monday. … Houston placed long reliever

Alex White on the 60-day disabled list with a right elbow strain

and recalled reliever Edgar Gonzalez from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

… Houston OF Fernando Martinez was placed on the 15-day disabled

list retroactive to March 27 with an oblique strain. The Astros

recalled OF J.D. Martinez from Oklahoma City to take his spot on

the roster.