Oberholtzer working out kinks on mound

Oberholtzer working out kinks on mound

VIERA, Fla. -- At least one of the two home runs Brett Oberholtzer gave up in his first start of the spring Friday against the Nationals was aided by a stiff wind blowing from right to left field, but the left-hander wasn't about to make any excuses.

Oberholtzer gave up five hits and six runs (five earned) in the first inning before settling down to work a 1-2-3 second, throwing a total of 46 pitches (30 strikes).

"Regardless of the outcome or the weather, I still need a little work mechanic-wise -- the timing between my landing leg and following through," Oberholtzer said. "I left a lot of balls up, offspeed and fastball. I was a little shaky out of the game and couldn't stop the bleeding."

Astros manager Bo Porter said he was impressed with the lefty's mound presence.

"You wouldn't think he went three up and three down," Porter said. "That's a credit to him. Sometimes things aren't going to go the way you want them to go. I love the mound presence and the way he responded to an adverse situation."

Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer to right field that would have been foul had the wind not carried it back inside the foul pole. Later in the inning, Wilson Ramos clubbed a mammoth three-run homer to left that traveled more than 400 feet.

"[The pitches] were [in] good spots," Oberholtzer said. "Harper hit a two-seamer in on his hands, and that's what we want him to do to open up that outside corner. We threw him two good fastballs away that he took, so that's why went in with a two-seam and hopefully get him chasing away, but that two-seam … he did a good job getting to it. I know the wind blew it back in, but that's baseball."

The home run to Ramos was also a fastball inside.

"I know when I do that and they get them pretty good like that, I fly open with my front shoulder," he said. "Regardless of the situations, it's more what I have to do to get better, and that'll come."

Brian McTaggart is a 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.