Astros beat Phillies 2-1 behind rookie Feliz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Preston Tucker and Colby Rasmus drove in runs and rookie Michael Feliz pitched four innings for the Houston Astros in a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.

Houston pushed across two unearned runs off Philadelphia starter Charlie Morton, who gave up four hits and struck out five in 5 1/3 innings.

Feliz, a 22-year-old right-hander who pitched in five major league games as a reliever last season, gave up only one hit, but it came around three walks in the first inning. Cedric Hunter drove in the Phillies' run with a single.

Jason Castro had three of the Astros' five hits.

Ken Giles pitched the ninth inning to earn his first save against the team that traded him to Houston in December.

''It's a nice feeling, especially now since it didn't really feel like a spring training game,'' Giles said. ''It's a different mindset when I'm trying to lock down a good inning and also trying to work on some things I've been wanting to work on.''

Manager A.J. Inch, who has been reluctant to designate the 25-year-old right-hander as his closer, said it was ''the best he's thrown all spring'' and dismissed Giles' first five outings, which included six runs and two losses.

''The first four or five (games) for any reliever are really for them. In the last couple you want to see guys have an uptick in execution,'' Hinch said. ''We're getting a little of that with a couple guys. Our bullpen is starting to ramp up at the right time.''

Giles, who won six games and saved 15 for the Phillies last season, struck out two of the three batters he faced Wednesday night.

''Everything is finally coming together slowly,'' he said. ''Everybody here is mentally ready. It's just a matter of everybody's body is catching up with the mind.''

Houston pushed across two unearned runs off Philadelphia starter Charlie Morton, who gave up four hits and struck out five in 5 1/3 innings.

Feliz, a 22-year-old right-hander who pitched in five major league games as a reliever last season, gave up only one hit, but it came around three walks in the first inning. Cedric Hunter drove in the Phillies' run with a single.

Jason Castro had three of the Astros' five hits.

STARTING TIME

Phillies: Morton threw 94 pitches, which he considered a disappointment. ''Tonight the goal was to go out there and get six ups, to get out there for the sixth inning. The way you do that is by getting outs, and you can't get to the sixth inning if you're not getting outs,'' he said. ''If I go out there and throw 90 pitches in four innings, that's not doing anybody any good. That's way too many pitches.

Astros: Feliz, a long shot to start the season in Houston, said: ''I think I was trying to do too much and show too much'' in the first inning. He has given up only two runs in 14 innings.

WHO'S ON FIRST?

The Astros still don't have a first baseman. Jon Singleton, Marwin Gonzalez, non-roster Tyler White and prospect A.J. Reed are still candidates, at least nominally. ''Like we've said from the beginning of camp, we want somebody to win the job,'' Hinch said. ''And certainly with only a week left, guys have to step up and make a push if they want to be considered for our opening day roster.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: OF Odubel Herrera, who has not played since March 12 because of an inflamed left middle finger, took batting practice with the Phillies regulars.

Astros: RHP Lance McCullers (sore shoulder) threw a bullpen session Wednesday and will go with the team to New York for Opening Day. As or when he will pitch, Hinch said: ''Until he's on a regular schedule, it's all guesswork.'' . . . DH-C Evan Gattis (sports hernia surgery) is almost certain to start the season on the DL. . . . RHP Luke Gregerson (sore left oblique) will pitch in a game for the first time this weekend.

UP NEXT

Phillies: LHP Adam Morgan will pitch against the Atlanta Braves at Disney on Thursday night.

Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel will face a New York Mets split squad at Port St. Lucie.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.