March 12, 2015

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) As spectacular as George Springer's rookie season was, it included a lot of failure.

The Houston Astros' 24-year-old outfielder says he'll take.

''I wouldn't change a thing,'' Springer said Thursday before the Astros beat a Detroit Tigers' split squad 4-3 in 10 innings. ''In order to succeed, you have to fail first, and I think I was able to learn from the failure and the hardships. I learned a lot about myself and about the game.''

Springer hit 20 home runs in 78 games, what amounted to a half season cut short by a left quadriceps strain. He also struck out 114 times and batted .231.

''My dad used to say that adversity introduces a man to himself, and that really stuck with me,'' he said. ''It's not about how you fail, but how you handle it.''

Springer might have been AL Rookie of the Year if he remained healthy. Astros manager A.J. Hinch wants him to look ahead.

''It's an interesting psychological game you have to play with yourself. If you have failure, you want a short memory, and if you have success you want a short memory for different reasons. That's what baseball will do to you,'' Hinch said. ''Success definitely breeds confidence, but ... you ride that momentum when you can, and dwell on it just enough to take the good out of it without the undue pressure.''

According to Springer, one of his successes last year was adjusting to the pace.

''I was able to slow it down and not be somebody I'm not,'' he said. ''Just to go out and compete and do the things I know how to do was something that helped me start to slow the game down. That's obviously what I'm trying to do now.''

As for the game,. AL batting champion Jose Altuve had three hits and drove in a run in Thursday's game.

Jake Marisnick had two hits and scored two runs for Houston, and Gregorio Petit hit a game-ending single off Johan Belisario.

Anthony Gose drove in two runs with a double and triple for the Tigers.

Detroit rookie right-hander Drew VerHagen allowed one run and three hits in three innings.

Dan Straily, a candidate for Houston's fifth pitching spot, also gave up one run and three hits in three innings.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Tigers: Jose Iglesias, recovering from stress fractures in both legs, played five innings at shortstop.

Astros: Rookie pitcher Mark Appel (forearm tightness) probably will pitch Monday after getting through a bullpen session Wednesday.

STARTING TIME

Astros: Dan Straily, a candidate for the fifth rotation spot, worked on a new curveball grip. He wants to gain confidence in ''something to get hitters out and keep `em off of my slider.''

GOSE BUSTING OUT

Gose, the outfielder acquired from Toronto in November, is the hottest hitter in Florida with 11 hits (five for extra bases) in 19 at bats. ''He's driving the ball right now,'' Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. ''Ideally he's more of a table setter. He's the type of guy you want on base when the heart of our lineup comes up.''

UP NEXT

Tigers: Shane Greene is to pitch against the Atlanta Braves on Friday. Iglesias is to be a DH and play in back-to-back games for the first time this year.

Astros: Scott Feldman is to get get his second start against the Washington Nationals, at Viera.

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