Houston vs. Detroit - Recap - March 13, 2011
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Towles' three hits leads Astros over Tigers 3-1

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- J.R. Towles is trying to make the Houston Astros ' choice on a starting catcher an easy one.

Towles had three hits, including an RBI single and his second spring home run Sunday, leading the Astros to a 3-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers in a matchup of split-squads.

He hopes to fill the void behind the plate created when Jason Castro injured his knee and will likely miss the season.

"It's definitely a terrible thing that happened to (Castro) and you never wish bad luck on anybody; you just wish yourself good luck," said Towles, who is 7 for 20 this spring. "I'm just trying to make the most of it and hoping everything will take care of itself."

Towles had second-inning RBI single off Tigers starter Max Scherzer , then connected for a homer off Jose Ortega in the sixth.

Magglio Ordonez 's first home run accounted for Detroit's run off left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith in the first inning.

Rowland-Smith, competing for a spot in the Astros' rotation, gave up three hits in three innings. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the third.

"I'm still having little spurts of inconsistency with my command and I went through that in the third inning," the left-hander said. "But I was able to bounce back."

Detroit starter Max Scherzer gave up two runs on five hits and three walks in 3 1-3 innings.

Scherzer also had some success getting out of jams, but gave up two runs on five hits and three walks before reaching his 90-pitch limit.

"I was trying to work on pitches, but you're out there to try to get outs," said Scherzer, who wasn't too happy with his third start of the spring. "The fastball location wasn't sharp, and I wasn't able to get in a real good rhythm."

Clete Thomas had two of the Tigers' eight hits.

Ross Wolf pitched the final two innings to get a save.


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