Laird, Ankiel lead Astros over Yankees split squad

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 28, 2013
Brandon Laird hit a grand slam and Rick Ankiel hit his first home run of the spring, leading the Houston Astros to a 7-6 victory over a split squad of New York Yankees on Thursday. Laird's grand slam came in the sixth inning off loser Shane Greene. Ankiel, trying to make the Astros as a 33-year-old outfielder, has six hits in nine spring at-bats. His homer off Mike O'Brien broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning. Melky Mesa's three-run run homer off Ross Seaton in the top of the sixth had given the Yankees a 5-1 lead after RBI singles by Zoilo Altmonte and Matt Diaz. Lucas Harrell pitched the first three innings for Houston in his second spring start, giving up no runs on three hits, while Sam Demel got the win. Yankees starter Brett Marshall pitched to the minimum nine batters in his three innings, striking out three while Francisco Cervelli threw out two runners attempting to steal.
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