Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve booed, hit by pitch vs. Detroit Tigers in 1st spring training action
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Jose Altuve insisted he tuned out the hecklers. He couldn’t avoid a pitch that grazed him.
“He was hit in the foot. That ain’t nothing, you know what I mean?” Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker said Monday after an 11-1 win over Detroit at half-empty Joker Marchant Stadium. “It wasn’t intentional.”
Altuve was loudly booed when he was introduced for his spring training debut, cheered when he struck out and called a cheater by several fans. Quite a difference from past years, when the diminutive All-Star second baseman was among the most popular players in the majors.
But that was before Altuve and his Houston teammates were implicated in the sign-stealing scandal that’s rocked baseball.
“We just heard a lot of noise, and that’s it,” Altuve said.
Altuve and fellow starters Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel all played for the first time in the exhibition season. After Houston opened the Grapefruit League in the stadium it shares with the World Series champion Washington Nationals, this was the first time the Astros were away from their complex — providing a taste of the reaction they might receive on the road this year.
“We were focused on playing baseball. We know that we need to go on the field and get ready and prepared for the coming season,” Altuve said. “That’s what we’re thinking about right now.”
Actually, the reception during the visit to Tigertown USA in Lakeland, Florida, was fairly tame compared to what it figures to be during the regular season.
Hecklers aired their voices after batting practice, booing during introduction of lineups and each time Altuve, Bregman, Correa and Gurriel stepped up to the plate.
ASTROS 11, TIGERS 1
After an impressive September call-up, Bryan Abreu was impressive in his spring debut, striking our four of the Tigers he faced, including perennial All-Star Miguel Cabrera. All four went down swinging. Jake Adams hit a solo homer, scored twice and drove in four runs.
Matthew Boyd struck out three Astros over two innings, allowing two hits and a walk. Overall the Tigers staff surrendered 14 hits. Detroit managed just four hits, only one for extra bases — a double by Troy Stokes, Jr.
BREWERS (split squad
) 2, ANGELS 1
The favorite to draw the opening day start, Brandon Woodruff walked a batter in his one-inning start. Angel Perdomo struck out two in his one-inning of relief. Chad Spanberger, a sixth-round pick by the Rockies in 2017, homered.
Dillon Peters struck out three in his two-inning start for the Angels. Jared Walsh doubled.
BREWERS (SS) 12, ATHLETICS 1
Orlando Arcia hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs for the Brewers. Keon Broxton doubled and Lucas Erceg homered and singled.
Sean Manaea struck out two over 1 2/3 innings, but was tagged for six earned runs on six hits, two of them home runs and three more doubles. Luis Barrera tripled.