Final

Indians 4

(1-1, 0-1 away)

Astros 5

(1-1, 1-0 home)

    1:05 PM ET, March 4, 2005

    Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    CLE 000400000 4 - -
    HOU 000000203 5 - -

    Houston 5, Cleveland 4

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Roger Clemens pitched two scoreless innings in his spring debut, and Houston's prized prospects helped the Astros rally for a 5-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday.

    Willy Taveras hit a two-run double in the seventh inning for Houston and Chris Burke came off the bench for another in the bottom of the ninth.

    "What a comeback, huh?" Astros manager Phil Garner said. "The young guys really came up big for us."

    Craig Biggio was back at second base for the first time in two years and Jeff Bagwell got a rare chance to be a designated hitter in the Astros' spring home opener at Osceola County Stadium.

    A year ago, fans crammed into the 5,300-seat stadium to get a glimpse of Clemens and Andy Pettitte, who both left the New York Yankees to join their hometown Astros for the 2004 season.

    Now that some of the novelty has worn off, about half that many fans -- an announced crowd of 3,097 -- showed up to see the Astros again. But it wasn't the franchise's familiar names of the past decade who led the way against Cleveland this time.

    Houston got clutch performances from Taveras and Charlton Jimerson, who both spent 2004 at Double-A Round Rock, and Burke, who is competing with Biggio to start at second base after playing with Triple-A New Orleans for much of last season.

    Trailing 4-0 in the seventh, Taveras doubled in Morgan Ensberg and Jason Lane to pull Houston within two. Jimerson and Burke completed the rally in the ninth with consecutive two-run doubles off Fernando Cabrera.

    "Got to be superior managing," Garner quipped. "That's the kind of effort you like to see."

    Jared Gothreaux pitched a perfect ninth for the win.

    Clemens and 44-year-old left-hander John Franco pitched the Astros to a scoreless tie through three innings before Dave Burba got roughed up in the fourth.

    In the span of just five pitches, Juan Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and Ryan Ludwick also connected off Burba to give the Indians a 3-0 lead. Josh Bard scored on a throwing error by shortstop Adam Everett to put Cleveland up by four.

    "I was just bad," Burba said. "It is a big deal and obviously there's something that needs to be done about it."

    Biggio adjusted well to playing second base for the first time since moving to the outfield in 2003 to make room for Jeff Kent. Biggio missed Thursday's game against Cleveland in Winter Haven while Burke took his first crack at earning the starting job.

    "It took me a little bit of time to get more acclimated," said Biggio, a six-time All-Star at second before switching positions. "Things came back to me real quickly."

    Game notes


    Bagwell went 1-for-3 as the designated hitter, a move that will allow him to rest his nagging shoulder injury. ... 1B Travis Hafner singled off Clemens in the first. Hafner is 3-for-4 with a homer, three runs and two RBI in the first two exhibition games of the year. ... Indians starter Scott Elarton was the opening day starter for Houston in 2001 after leading the club with 17 wins the year before. Elarton threw two hitless innings with a strikeout. ... Gonzalez struck out twice.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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