Pence paces Astros' offense

Pence paces Astros' offense

at Kissimmee, Fla.
Wednesday, March 19

Braves at the plate: Yunel Escobar singled to lead off the fourth and scored on Matt Diaz's single to right. The Braves scored five runs in the eighth, thanks in part to two Astros errors. Martin Prado's double that inning drove in two runs and tied the game at 7.

Astros at the plate: Hunter Pence knocked a double in the third, stole third and scored on a Carlos Lee sacrifice fly. In the sixth, Pence connected with his third home run of the spring, a two-run shot to straightaway center that gave the Astros a 7-1 lead. Miguel Tejada homered in his first at-bat, a two-run shot that capped Houston's three-run first. Reggie Abercrombie's fielder's-choice grounder in the eighth drove in Michael Bourn to break the 7-7 tie.

Braves on the mound: Starter Jo-Jo Reyes allowed five runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts over four innings. Chris Resop threw a scoreless fifth, but Rafael Soriano yielded two runs in the sixth.

Astros on the mound: Starter Shawn Chacon held the Braves to one run on three hits with four strikeouts over five innings. Three Braves hits arrived in the fourth frame. Prior to that inning, Chacon retired nine of 10 batters, hitting one with a pitch. Jose Valverde, making his first appearance since March 8, struck out two in one inning of work.

Grapefruit League records: Braves 11-9, Astros 10-12

Up next for Braves: Tim Hudson will make his second-to-last exhibition appearance when he starts Thursday night's game against the Tigers at home. The Braves' offense will get a test against Detroit ace Justin Verlander. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Up next for Astros: The Astros will travel to Viera, Fla., to play the Nationals at 7:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Chris Sampson will face Washington lefty Odalis Perez.

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