Teenage shortstop Carlos Correa homered twice and Jon Singleton added a solo shot as the Houston Astros defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5 in exhibition baseball play Thursday.
Correa, a 19-year-old who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft, and Singleton hit back-to-back homers in the third inning off Toronto starter Esmil Rogers. Correa then drove in two more runs with a blast to centre in the eighth off Neil Wagner.
In between, he made a slick fielding play in the fourth to throw out Brett Lawrie.
Starter Dallas Keuchel pitched four scoreless innings as Houston (7-6) posted its fourth straight win in the spring. The last time the Astros won four in a row in the Grapefruit League was in March 2011.
The Blue Jays (6-8) scored three in the fifth off Collin McHugh to cut the lead to 4-3. Houston made it 5-3 in the sixth via a sacrifice fly.
Houston threatened again when Toronto pitcher Jeremy Jeffress loaded the bases in the seventh with no outs. He struck out one before giving way to Wagner, who struck out another and then escaped the inning when Ryan Goins made an eye-popping fielding play off a ball that flew off the pitcher’s body.
There was action in the bottom of the seventh as Anthony Gose somehow turned a shallow fly ball into a triple when sliding Houston outfielder Adron Chambers was unable to chase the ball down. Kevin Pillar then was drilled by Josh Zeid with the Jays outfielder taking a long look at the Astros pitcher as he left the batter’s box.
Gose scored on a fielder’s choice when Pillar was cut down stealing second, cutting the lead to 5-4. Gose also scored on a sacrifice fly in the ninth to make it 7-5.
Rogers, in the mix for the Jays’ fifth starter, had an eventful three innings. He struck out six but walked two and gave up four runs on five hits.
Keuchel has yet to give up a run in nine innings this spring. He scattered six hits over his four innings Wednesday, striking out two with no walks.
The game featured half-brothers Cesar and Maicer Izturis, both starting at second base and batting ninth (the older Cesar for Houston and Maicer for Toronto).
The contest drew 4,510 to Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on a 15-degree day.