Tucker, Davis Stay Hot In DH Split
Reed Breaking Out Of Spring Slump

Tucker: Making loud noises
(c) Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle
Kyle Tucker banged his fourth homer of the spring while J.D. Davis cracked three hits in a 9-5 loss to the New York Mets on Tuesday. Closer to home, Charlie Morton struck out six over three innings of shutout ball at West Palm Beach in a 10-5 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Tucker, who will begin the season in the minors, may be making the Astros rethink their position while batting .400 and leading the team in both homers and RBIs. He sent a seventh-inning solo shot beyond the right field fence that gave Houston a 4-3 lead. It was tied in the ninth before Phillip Evans cracked a walk-off grand slam against Rogelio Armenteros to please the Met faithful.

Davis also stayed hot with three hits. The third baseman has been trying out at first base with Yuli Gurriel on the shelf. He is batting .455 with a 1.384 OPS and making a bid to stay with the big club when it breaks camp at the end of this month.

Another first base competitor, A.J. Reed, had been off to a terrible start this spring but his bat has come alive in recent days. He drilled a two-run homer for his second of the season in the 10-5 triumph. Marwin Gonzalez and Jon Kemmer also went deep.

Astros pitchers fanned 14 Nats on the day as the bullpen was dinged in the fifth and sixth innings. The 9-4-1 champions will return to action Wednesday against Miami before making a visit Thursday to the Atlanta Braves at Disney World.

- Bob Hulsey