LAKELAND, Fla. — Scott Feldman pitched two scoreless innings in his first spring start for Houston, allowing only one hit in the Astros' 5-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.
Austin Jackson had two hits for Detroit, which scored its five runs in the fourth inning.
Feldman signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Astros in the offseason, and Houston hopes the 31-year-old right-hander can provide stability at the top of the rotation.
"He was Scott Feldman. He's going to attack the strike zone, he's going to throw all his pitches in any count," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "Just a professional, the way he goes about his business, and it was good to see."
Feldman allowed a walk to Miguel Cabrera and a single to Jackson.
"Right now I think the pitchers are probably a little ahead of the hitters, and all that stuff catches up," Feldman said. "Hopefully by the end of spring I'll be able to hit my spots."
Cabrera's single started Detroit's fourth-inning rally, which also included a two-run double by Don Kelly.
STARTING TIME: Left-hander Kyle Lobstein was only supposed to pitch two innings, but he breezed through them with such ease Detroit manager Brad Ausmus let him pitch one more. A third-inning walk was the only baserunner Lobstein allowed. Barring injury, there's no room for him in Detroit's rotation, but he made a strong impression.
"He's in that mix of guys that could fill in," Ausmus said. "He's got good mound presence. He doesn't look like he's nervous out there, he doesn't look intimidated."
BIG INNING: Jackson has been Detroit's leadoff hitter during the Tigers' run of three straight AL Central titles, but he may end up elsewhere in the lineup this season after Detroit acquired Ian Kinsler in a trade and signed speedy outfielder Rajai Davis.
Jackson hit sixth Saturday, and he came up with the bases loaded in the fourth after singles by Cabrera and Victor Martinez and a walk by Alex Avila. Jackson's single to center opened the scoring, and Kelly followed with his double to make it 3-0.
"You have to make the adjustment," Jackson said. "Leadoff, there's a different approach. Your job I think is to make sure you're doing whatever you can to get on base. Down the lineup, you have more opportunities to hit with runners on."
CLOSING IT OUT: Closer Joe Nathan didn't pitch for the Tigers, but they did use three relievers who are expected to play key roles in the bullpen. Al Alburquerque walked one and struck out two in the seventh, and Ian Krol allowed a walk and a single but kept Houston from scoring in the eighth.
Bruce Rondon pitched a perfect ninth.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — John Danks didn't get to pitch against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday because of rain. He still enjoyed some quality time with his cut fastball.
After Saturday's scheduled exhibition game was called off, the Chicago White Sox left-hander threw 45 pitches in a three-inning simulated game in the batting cage to remain on schedule.
Danks used the time to work on his cutter, a pitch that he used more frequently before he was sidelined by arm surgery in 2012.
"Everything felt good," Danks said. "I was pleased with the cutter and was able to make it move. I started playing with it on the opposite side of the plate."
While Danks said it was disappointing to not face opposing batters, he said, "It was good to get up that third time [after breaks to simulate half-innings] and stretch it out as much as we can. We have plenty of time to get to where we want to be."
Chicago pitchers Dylan Axelrod, Eric Surkamp, and Chris Beck also threw in the cage to hitters.
Cleveland's first two pitchers on Saturday would have been Trevor Bauer and newly-signed veteran Aaron Harang, who are competing for spots at the end of the Indians' rotation.