HOUSTON -- Through the first four innings of Wednesday's exhibition between the Astros and White Sox, it seemed as though pitching would dominate the day. But in the fifth, both teams' offense woke up and after three frames of back and forth lead changes, neither team was able to unlock a 5-5 tie.
Astros starter J.A. Happ pitched well in his final tune-up before the start of the season, throwing five innings and allowing four hits, two runs, two walks and striking out three. He threw 46 of his 71 pitches for strikes. White Sox starter Philip Humber, who played collegiately at Rice University in Houston, allowed five hits and three runs in five innings.
The White Sox got RBIs from Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza to take a 2-0 lead in the fifth in Happ's last inning of work, but Houston responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Jose Altuve had an RBI double and J.D. Martinez launched a homer to left-center - his second of the spring -- to make it 3-2.
Chicago answered in the sixth with a pair of runs to take a 4-3 lead when Alexei Ramirez had an RBI triple and scored on a Kosuke Fukudome single.
Brian Bogusevic hit the first pitch from relief pitcher Eric Stults into right field for a solo homer to tie the game, and Chris Johnson followed with a double, advanced to third on a grounder and scored on a wild pitch to give Houston a 5-4 lead.
Jared Mitchell homered off Kyle Weiland to lead off the seventh and tie the game at 5.
Up next: The team will work out at Minute Maid Park on Thursday morning before opening the 2012 season against the Rockies at Minute Maid Park at 6:05 p.m. CT on Friday. Wandy Rodriguez, the last holdover from the 2005 World Series team, will make his first Opening Day start for the Astros when he gets the ball on Friday.
Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.