03/04/09 4:17 PM EST
Capellan states case to make Astros
Houston, Team Venezuela exhibition contest ends in a tie
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
at Kissimmee, Fla.
Wednesday, March 4
Venezuela at the plate: The Venezuelans were quiet until Miguel Cabrera, normally of the Tigers, hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the fifth. Jose Lopez also knocked in two runs with a double in the eighth inning. Two other Major Leaguers, Melvin Mora of the Orioles and Magglio Ordonez of the Tigers, left a combined six runners on base over the first four innings.
Astros at the plate: Brian Bogusevic hit an RBI single and Kazuo Matsui an RBI triple, providing all the early offense. Tommy Manzella then gave them a lead in the seventh inning, when he hit a sacrifice fly to center, driving in pinch-runner Michael Bourn. First baseman John Gall tied the game in the eighth with an RBI single.
Venezuela on the mound: In his three innings, starter Enrique Gonzalez allowed one unearned run, the product of two walks and an error. Yoel Hernandez of the Phillies fired a scoreless inning of relief, and Ramon Ramirez of the Reds allowed two runs in his inning.
Astros on the mound: A non-roster invitee with only a slight chance to make the team, Jose Capellan nonetheless impressed, firing three shutout innings against a strong Venezuelan lineup. Capellan walked one, allowed one hit and struck out none. But Felipe Paulino, a product of the Astros' Venezuelan Academy, allowed two runs in his two innings.
Up next: Carlos Lee will face his Astros teammates in Kissimmee when Team Panama arrives for a 12:05 p.m. CT exhibition game at Osceola County Stadium. Brian Moehler will start for the Astros, opposite Abraham Atencio. Lee is expected to start in left field for his native Panama.
Team Venezuela will continue its slate of World Baseball Classic exhibitions when it takes on the Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., in a 1:05 CT game.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.