Penny hit hard as Blue Jays split squad falls to Astros

Brad Penny was hit hard by the Astros in a 7-5 loss, giving up a 5-0 lead in the second inning.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Carlos Correa and Preston Tucker homered and George Springer scored three times in the Houston Astros‘ 7-5 split-squad win over a Toronto Blue Jays split squad Thursday.

Correa’s homer gave the Astros a 5-0 lead in the second inning against Toronto starter Brad Penny after a leadoff triple by Springer. All five runs were scored by the Astros’ first three hitters (Jose Altuve, Springer and Correa), who are batting a combined .365 and slugging .635 midway through the spring schedule.

The second spring homer for Correa, the AL’s Rookie of the Year last year at the age of 20, was hit over the centre field wall.

“He’s going to be pitched differently this year and he’s going to have to adapt to different styles of pitching,” said manager A.J. Inch. “He’s not going to sneak up on anybody so there are no freebies for him.”

Tucker's second homer came after a walk to Springer in the fifth.

Michael Feliz, a 22-year-old right-hander who appears to be Houton' sixth or seven starter, pitched three shutout innings in his first start for the Astros, giving up three hits.

"I want to start with the team, but I'm going to be ready for wherever they send me," Feliz said.

Josh Thole had two hits and drove in two runs for the Blue Jays.


The Astros sent C Alfredo Gonzalez to the minor leagues and reassigned RHP Jordan Jankowski after the game, leaving non-roster invitees Roberto Pena and Tyler Heineman as the only healthy backups to C Jason Castro.


Wearing a green uniform on St. Patrick's Day, minor leaguer Brendan McCurry pitched a perfect ninth to earn a save. "Hopefully he'll be with us next March and we'll see if we can make it an annual save for him," Hinch said.


Blue Jays: Penny gave up five runs on four hits and three walks in two innings.

Astros: Feliz, a big strikeout pitcher in the minors, did not strikeout any of the 11 batters he faced Thursday, explaining that he is working on his secondary pitches.


Astros: RHP Luke Gregerson (intercostal strain) will pitch in a game for the first time Saturday or Sunday.


Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez gets his second spring start Friday against the Astros in Dunedin.

Astros: RHP Doug Fister faces the Blue Jays in his fourth start.