Astros fall to Dominican club

Astros fall to Dominican club

at Kissimmee, Fla.
Sunday, March 5

Team Dominican at the plate: David "Big Papi" Ortiz knocked a solo homer off right-handed prospect Chris Sampson in the sixth to begin a three-run inning. The Dominican club also plated three in the fifth off knuckleballer Steve Sparks. Adrian Beltre led off the frame with a double to left and scored on Juan Encarnacion's double, also hit to left. Alfonso Soriano drove in Encarnacion with a single to left, and Miguel Tejada drove in the final run with a base hit to center.

Astros at the plate: The Astros' big inning was the fifth. Lance Berkman led off with a single to center, moved to third on Morgan Ensberg's double and scored on a base hit by Preston Wilson. Chris Burke doubled to drive in both runners.

Team Dominican on the mound: Starter Francisco Liriano allowed one unearned run on no hits with two walks and four strikeouts over two innings.

Astros right-hander Juan Gutierrez pitched the ninth for Houston, and then he changed uniforms and threw the bottom of the inning for the Dominican club.

Astros on the mound: Starter Ezequiel Astacio struggled with his control, walking four while yielding two runs on three hits and striking out one in two innings.

Up next: The Astros will host the Nationals at Osceola County Stadium on Monday at 1:05 p.m. CT.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.