Recaps from March 22 action in the Grapefruit League.
Astros 3, Cardinals 2
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Rick Ankiel had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to lead the Houston Astros to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
Ankiel pinch-hit for Brandon Barnes after Tyler Greene and Jose Altuve had opened the inning with singles off Edward Mujica.
Altuve had two of Houston’s six hits and scored two runs.
Bud Norris, scheduled to be Houston’s starter the season opener on March 31, gave up three hits and three walks and struck out four in six scoreless innings. Joe Valdez pitched the eighth to pick up the win for the Astros.
St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia also pitched six innings, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out five.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0
DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Toronto closer Casey Janssen made his 2013 spring training debut, striking out two during a perfect seventh inning in the Blue Jays’ 1-0 win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday.
Janssen, who finished with 22 saves last season, had surgery in November to address lingering shoulder soreness.
J.A. Happ continued his strong exhibition season, allowing two hits in six shutout innings for Toronto. The left-hander could start the season at Triple-A, in a long relief role, or at some point move into a starting spot if the Blue Jays decide to drop struggling Ricky Romero from the rotation.
Boston reliever Alfredo Aceves got the start and scattererd two hits over five scorless innings.
Pirates 6, Rays (ss) 4
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Ben Zobrist homered leading off a three-run sixth inning Friday for Tampa Bay, but Stefan Welch hit a three-run homer in his first spring training at-bat to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat a split squad 6-4.
Welch, a third baseman who played last season at Double-A, hit a towering shot to right field off Dane De La Rosa.
The Rays scored three runs to take a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning. Zobrist homered, and Luke Scott and Shelley Duncan had RBI doubles.
Pirates starter Jeanmar Gomez allowed one run and three hits in four innings. The right-hander, who’s in the hunt for the No. 5 starter job, walked one and struck out two.
Rays starter Alex Cobb worked 6 1-3 innings and gave up thre runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out five.
Orioles 6, Rays (ss) 3
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) — Jonathan Schoop, still fresh off his stint with the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, went 3 for 4 with three RBIs, including a go-ahead two-run home run in the sixth, to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 6-3 victory over a Tampa Bay Rays split-squad on Friday.
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria continued his spring surge with a bases-clearing double in the third inning off Baltimore starter Steve Johnson.
Longoria, who is hitting .389 with seven doubles and 10 RBIs, hit a sinking line drive that sneaked under left fielder Trayvon Robinson’s outstretched glove and rolled to the wall, scoring Jason Bourgeois, Sean Rodriguez and Mike Fontenot, who all reached base via walks.
Steve Pearce hit his fifth spring homer for the Orioles.
Phillies 7, Braves 6
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — B.J. Upton hit his first long ball of spring training to give Atlanta a late lead, but Darin Ruf connected for game-ending homer with two outs in the ninth inning Friday, lifting the Philadelphia Phillies to a 7-6 victory over Braves.
Upton homered to put Atlanta up 5-4 in the seventh and the Braves added a run on a double-play grounder in the eighth. The Phillies scored twice in the bottom of the eighth to tie it at 6 before Ruf connected off Daniel Rodriguez.
Evan Gattis hit two home runs for the Braves.
Phillies starter Adam Morgan, who had been re-assigned to minor league camp earlier this spring, allowing only one run and four hits in a spot appearance. He struck out five.
Yankees 9, Twins 7
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Robinson Cano drove in two runs to help the New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 9-7 on Friday despite a rough start for Ivan Nova.
Cano went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly and an RBI double as the designated hitter. Nova, in contention for the fifth slot in the rotation for the Yankees, gave up back-to-back home runs in the second inning. He gave up five runs in 5 1-3 innings.
Vance Worley, who could be the opening day starter for the Twins, gave up five runs in five innings. His spring ERA is 6.35.
Brennan Boesch, trying to win a spot as a backup outfielder, was a late scratch from the Yankees lineup because of sore left ribs.
Tigers 4, Nationals 3
VIERA, Fla. (AP) — Stephen Strasburg stayed on the mound after a liner went off his left hand, pitching six innings in the Washington Nationals’ 4-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Friday.
The 24-year-old right-hander was struck by a ball hit by Prince Fielder in the top of the fourth inning. After shaking off the injury and being cleared by team trainers, he struck out two of the next three batters.
Strasburg, making his sixth spring start, gave up three runs and seven hits. One of the hits was a solo home run by Matt Tuiasosopo.
Detroit’s Drew Smyly, knocked around by Washington in his previous start, retired the first 10 batters he faced. Ian Desmond homered off the left-hander in the fifth inning.
Mets 4, Marlins 2
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Miami’s Ricky Nolasco outpitched Jon Niese in a battle of opening-day starters, but the Marlins lost 4-2 to the New York Mets on Friday night.
Nolasco allowed one run and four hits in six innings. He struck out five and threw 62 of his 101 pitches for strikes.
Niese gave up two runs and four hits over five innings a day after he was told he would start on opening day. He struck out five and walked four.
The Mets scored three times off Ryan Webb in the eighth inning. Anthony Recker doubled in Mike Baxter with the tying run, and Josh Rodriguez’s two-out, two-run single gave New York the lead.
Rob Brantly and Nick Green had run-scoring singles in the fourth for Miami.