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Astros 3, Blue Jays 2

Astros 3, Blue Jays 2
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - A month ago, Ricky Romero was a long shot to earn a spot in Toronto's rotation. He certainly helped his chances Sunday.

The left-hander threw seven solid innings, allowing two runs while striking out six and walking none in the Houston Astros' 3-2 victory over the Blue Jays.

The quality start leaves Romero in contention for one of the final two slots in the starting rotation. He's competing with Brad Mills and Scott Richmond for those roles.

"We'll see what happens," said Toronto manager Cito Gaston, who plans to make a final decision within a couple of days. "He will pitch again, probably on the last day or so. We'll have our decision before that."

A knock on Romero has always been his emotions - when faced with tough situations, he tends to overthrow and lose his command.

Against the Astros, he was faced with a bases-loaded, none-out jam with Miguel Tejada at the plate in the sixth inning. Romero struck out Tejada and Geoff Blum, then retired Ivan Rodriguez to escape unscathed.

"Probably one of the best innings I've seen all spring, with a pitcher getting out of trouble like that," Gaston said. "I hope to see more of it."

During the game, Rodriguez went out of his way to tell Gaston that Romero's stuff was tough to hit.

"If the opposition said you had good stuff, that means something," Gaston said.

Jason Michaels homered and Brian Moehler had a nice start for the Astros.

Moehler, who has his spot in the rotation locked up, gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings.

"There were a couple balls that were hit hard that I didn't locate real well," Moehler said. "But all in all, I pounded the strike zone so I'm happy with that."

Moehler had no walks or strikeouts.

"Be on your toes, because I'm going to give up some hits," Moehler said. "I don't want to sit out there and throw four and five pitches to hitters. I want them to make contact."

Last time out, Moehler's outing was cut short because he took a line drive off his shoulder. He was able to throw just three innings before he was removed as a precaution.

He's hoping to stay in the game a while in his final outing of the spring, which will come during the first few days of April.

"I need to get my pitch count up, because I only threw 20-something pitches last time out," he said. "I need to get in some pitches next time out."

Notes: Astros 1B Lance Berkman was not in the lineup for the second consecutive game because of biceps tendinitis in his left arm. He's expected to return Tuesday against the Braves. ... The Astros assigned RHP Chad Paronto to minor league camp. ... Six of the Blue Jays' seven hits off Moehler were doubles. The other was a single.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: March 30, 2009

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