Towles nails a double in return to plate

Towles nails a double in his return

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- J.R. Towles played seven innings and logged a double during the Astros game with the Reds on Saturday, the catcher's first Major League exhibition game since he strained a hamstring two weeks ago.

Towles estimated he's probably running at 70 to 80 percent.

"I still can't run very fast, but other than that, it was great," he said. "I still feel it a little bit. I can go first to third, no problem, but if I want to stretch it from first to home it would probably be too much."

Towles will not start Sunday's game against the Braves at Disney, but manager Cecil Cooper plans to insert him in for the last three innings.

"It looked like he might be favoring [his leg], but we're going to go with it and see how far we can go," Cooper said.

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