Astros notes: free caps, Bagwell in the house, and lots of pictures.

The Astros opened the Grapefruit season with a (hopefully) forgettable loss to the Braves on Monday, and although the hit totals were similar — 14 for the Astros, 15 for the Braves — the final score indicated that the home team was far more successful in executing once runners were on base.

Braves 13, Astros, 3. Wandy Rodriguez threw six pitches in the first inning and looked great. He threw 37 pitches in the second inning and the Braves piled on. After the game, Wandy admitted nothing was working, especially location and his curveball.

Fortunately, this was one game, and it was a Spring Training game, and Wandy has several more opportunities — at least six — to get himself ready for the regular season. In the meantime, offensively, the Astros had a nice showing. Brett Wallace was 3-for-3 with two runs scored, Carlos Lee was 2-for-3, T.J. Steele was 2-for-2, Tommy Manzella was 2-for-3 and Hunter Pence was 1-for-2.

Brett Myers will start Tuesday’s game, and the following pitchers are also scheduled to appear: Brandon Lyon, Jeff Fulchino, Fernando Abad, Mark Melancon, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Gustavo Chacin and Patrick Urckfitz.

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Notable:

* The first 2,500 fans to the opener Tuesday will receive a free Astros cap, presented by USSSA.

* Jeff Bagwell arrived to the Kissimmee complex on Monday and plans to be with the team through Thursday.

* A foul ball sailed directly into the Astros’ broadcast booth in the ninth inning Monday, narrowly missing Dave Raymond and Milo Hamilton. According to eye-witness Brett Dolan (@astrosradio), “somehow both lived to tell of it.”

* For the first 13 games this spring, including Monday, the Astros will use the designated hitter rule. On March 10 vs. the Nationals and March 11 at the Nationals, they’ll switch over to National League-style baseball. The Astros will use the DH on March 11 vs. the Red Sox.

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Friendly reminder that Google-free, can’t-find-it-on-the-internet, won’t-be-able-to-look-it-up-on-baseballreference.com Twitter Tuesday is almost upon us. At noon CT sharp, I will tweet a trivia question regarding one of the Astros players and the first person to tweet the correct answer wins two free tickets to any game this season, minus Opening Day, the Red Sox series and the final homestand.

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We shot our first gameday video Monday morning around the cage during batting practice, which you can find here.
 
We also, as usual, took a bunch of photos. Enjoy the gallery and hopefully we’ll see you at the ballpark Tuesday. 

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1 Comment

Alyson, one quick question if the Houston Astros are playing an away game during Spring Training are we allowed to watch the Minor Leaguers if their playing an exhibition game? Our schedule looks like March 17th and 18th will tentatively be our free days.

http://thehooks.mlblogs.com/

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