Astros 9, Blue Jays 7

BY foxsports • March 21, 2009

Vernon Wells tested his left hamstring Saturday, playing the outfield for the first time this spring during Toronto's 9-7 loss to the Houston Astros. The two-time All-Star spent five innings in center for the Blue Jays but did not have a ball hit his way. At the plate, he singled off starter Jose Capellan for his first hit of the spring and finished 1-for-3. More important, Wells showed no signs of discomfort while advancing from first to third on Adam Lind's single. "He was originally scheduled to just play three innings," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "But he wanted another at-bat so we played him five." Wells went down with a strained hamstring Feb. 23, re-injuring the hamstring that kept him on the disabled list for a month late last season. He was Toronto's designated hitter Friday, going 0-for-2 against Tampa Bay. Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay struggled in his longest exhibition outing, giving up six runs and nine hits over six innings. He allowed two homers to Houston second baseman Edwin Maysonet. "I'm not too worried about Doc," Gaston said. "He just got the ball up a little bit (in the sixth). I'm sure he's not happy about it." Maysonet drove a 1-1 pitch to right field in the second inning and added a three-run shot as part of a five-run sixth. He also tripled off Scott Downs in the eighth and finished with five RBIs. The Astros improved to 3-16-3 this spring, winning for the second consecutive day after going 19 straight Grapefruit League games without a victory. Halladay threw 81 pitches and struck out one. Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan pitched a scoreless inning and Downs made his spring debut, giving up three runs, including a two-run homer to Lou Santangelo, in one inning of work. Lyle Overbay hit his first home run of the spring, a three-run shot off Capellan as part of a five-run fourth inning for Toronto. Capellan opened the game with 3 1-3 innings of no-hit ball before Toronto tagged him for five consecutive hits in the fourth. He gave up five runs and seven hits on 82 pitches over five innings. Alberto Arias made his return to the mound after bruising his right when he was hit by Hideki Matsui's line drive last week. He threw two perfect innings and struck out three for the Astros.

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