Astros 8, Braves 5

Troy Glaus is used to making adjustments. When you’ve played for

four teams over the last six seasons, it becomes like second

nature.

The one thing he’s never been able to adapt to is not seeing his

name on the lineup. That was a tough reality to accept last year in

St. Louis, when he was limited to 14 games after having surgery on

his right shoulder in January.

“It was unbelievably frustrating,” Glaus said of his final,

injury-plagued year with the Cardinals. “I’m not a very good

spectator. I wanted to be a part of it. Unfortunately, it took

longer to come back than certainly I had hoped and everybody had

hoped.”

Glaus reached base safely for the seventh consecutive game

Sunday and Brian McCann hit his first two home runs of the spring,

but Atlanta starter Kenshin Kawakami was battered around for six

runs as the Astros beat a Braves split-squad 8-5.

Glaus’s shoulder is fully healed and feeling strong, and it’s

showing early this spring. He drew a walk in the fifth inning

Sunday, finishing 0 for 2 but is hitting .563 and recently went on

an 8 for 8 streak that ended earlier this week.

Glaus was brought in this offseason on a one-year, $1.75 million

contract to be a power presence in a lineup that ranked 22nd in the

majors with 149 homers last year. Glaus hit 88 home runs for the

Angels from 2000-01, he’s topped 25 seven times and has 304 long

balls in his 12-year career.

Though he’ll always be known for his power, the 33-year old

Glaus says homers aren’t his primary focus any longer.

“What becomes important as you play the game longer is runs

scored and RBIs,” Glaus said. “The homers are great, everybody

loves seeing homers. But for me, to be a productive player in the

middle of the lineup, I need to drive in runs and score runs.”

Glaus is also transitioning to first base, a position he’d only

played six times prior to this season. He says the move from third

has been easier on his arm, but he no longer has that instinctual

feel for the baseball the he had at the other hot corner.

“Being on the other side of the field is a little bit different

and then actually having to have a conscious thought about

situations in the game, where before you ended up where you’re

supposed to go because you just knew where to go,” Glaus said.

“Now I have to think about, ‘Runners on first and second, ball hit

to center, where do I go?”’

McCann hit a solo home run off of Astros starter Brett Myers in

the second inning and added a two-run shot off of reliever Tim

Byrdak three innings later for the Braves. Omar Infante was 3 for 3

with a double Sunday, and Eric Hinske finished 2 for 2 with an RBI

and run scored.

Kawakami allowed six runs – five of them earned – on eight hits

over 3 2-3 innings. He threw 46 of 71 pitches for strikes and

struck out three in his third start of the spring.

The 34-year-old Japanese righty went 7-12 with a 3.86 ERA in 25

starts last season. The Braves are hoping he’ll be durable enough

to be their fifth starter this season.

“I don’t think he even made one bad pitch,” Braves manager

Bobby Cox said. “He had 13 ground balls. For me, he had one of his

best days ever.”

Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee hit back-to-back home runs off of

reliever Manny Acosta during the Astros’ six-run, fourth inning.

Lee added a double and two RBIs while Pence drove in three.

Myers stuck out six and allowed just two runs on six hits and

three walks over four innings in his third and longest outing of

the spring. He threw 51 of 78 pitches for strikes and twice worked

his way out of bases-loaded jams with minimal damage.

“I stayed predominantly with the four-seamers because the wind

was pretty bad, like the first time I pitched here,” Myers said.

“I threw a couple sinkers that weren’t even close. So I tried to

stick with more four-seamers and go with that.”

NOTES: Former President George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara,

were in the crowd at Osceola County Stadium for the second straight

game Sunday. … The Astros have an off-day on Monday, their last

break in the spring schedule. … Astros ace Roy Oswalt will make

his second start of the spring on Tuesday in Kissimmee against the

Red Sox. His start on Thursday was rained out. … Braves starter

Derek Lowe will make his third appearance of the spring on Monday

night when they travel to Viera to take on the Nationals.