LAKELAND, Fla. -- Bruce Rondon gave up his first run in six outings since making an adjustment to his delivery two weeks ago, but the bulk of the damage came on ground-ball singles through a group of Minor League infielders.
Rondon pitched Thursday's ninth inning with a five-run deficit and got a hard-hit flyout deep to center field from Rick Ankiel. Once J.D. Martinez fought off a 100-mph fastball to flare a line-drive single to right, however, Houston put together three straight singles, the last of them a ground ball to short to plate a run.
Rondon kept the damage at that with an inning-ending double play after following a 99-mph fastball with an 88-mph changeup to put Marwin Gonzalez in an 0-2 count.
"In fairness, he was working with a little bit of a younger catcher there [Curt Casali], and he was stuck on a little bit of fastball," manager Jim Leyland said. "I mean, he did find out what we've talked about all along -- 100 means nothing up here unless you have something else to go with it. You have to throw something else over the plate, and I think he has that capability. I think he's been showing lately he has the capability to do that, so that's OK."