at Bradenton, Fla.
Tuesday, March 23
Astros at the plate: Chris Shelton had a three-hit, four-RBI game for Houston. He drove in two with an RBI single in the first and another pair scored on his fourth-inning double. Second baseman Kazuo Matsui also went 3-for-3, with an RBI double and two runs scored. Humberto Quintero, T.J. Steele, Jason Michaels and Andrew Locke all finished with multihit games. Each also drove in a run. Matt Kata came on as a late-game substitution and hit a solo homer in the eighth.
Pirates at the plate: Jeff Clement went 2-for-3 with an RBI single in the first. Akinora Iwamura's fifth-inning double marked the Pirates' only extra-base hit of the afternoon. Ryan Doumit reached twice in three plate appearances. Garrett Jones went 1-for-3 with a run scored.Astros on the mound: Fifth-starter candidate Felipe Paulino allowed one run on seven hits in his five-inning start. Paulino struck out six and allowed just one walk. Brandon Lyon pitched a perfect sixth. Gary Majewski threw two scoreless innings out of the 'pen. Pirates on the mound: Starter Ross Ohlendorf had a rocky outing that lasted just 3 2/3 innings. The Astros scored seven runs (four earned) against Ohlendorf, who also allowed nine hits and walked three. Jack Taschner, who is fighting for a bullpen spot, pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. He allowed one hit. Anthony Claggett allowed three runs on five hits in two innings. Worth noting: Though Taschner didn't strike anyone out on Tuesday, he still leads all Pirates pitchers with 12 strikeouts this spring (8 1/3 innings). ... Tuesday's game was the first of three meetings that the two division rivals will have in a seven-day span. They next meet on Friday in Kissimmee, Fla.
Grapefruit League records: Astros 11-8; Pirates 5-12.Up next: The Astros' road trip continues on Wednesday, when they travel to Port St. Lucie, Fla., to face the Mets at 12:10 p.m. CT on MLB.TV. Casey Daigle, a non-roster relief pitcher, will get the start for the Astros, whose rotation got jumbled because of Sunday's rainout. Outfielders Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee, who didn't travel with the team to Bradenton on Tuesday, are scheduled to make the trip to face the Mets. Jeff Fulchino, Matt Lindstrom and Tim Byrdak are also scheduled to throw for Houston.
Closer Octavio Dotel will finally make his Grapefruit League debut on Wednesday when the Pirates face the Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. ET at McKechnie Field. Dotel was scheduled to pitch on Sunday, but the game was rained out. He has pitched two scoreless innings in two Minor League appearances so far. Paul Maholm will make the start on Wednesday and is expected to throw 80 pitches. D.J. Carrasco, Brendan Donnelly and Javier Lopez will also pitch in relief.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.