Astros slide past Yankees; Mauer leads Twins over Orioles
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- 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.
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- As news spread that Joe Mauer and his wife are expecting twins in August, the All-Star catcher had two hits with an RBI, a walk and two runs scored to lead the Minnesota Twins over the Baltimore Orioles 7-1 on Thursday.
Josh Willingham boosted his spring average to .727 with a pair of hits for the Twins. Willingham also drove in a run, drew a walk and scored twice.
Hitting behind Willingham, first baseman Justin Morneau went 2 for 3, including a two-run double, while playing his fifth game in a row in preparation for leading Canada at the World Baseball Classic.
Darin Mastroianni, competing for the starting center field job with the Twins, had two hits with a run scored.
Orioles starter Jair Jurrjens, a non-roster invitee, gave up three walks, three runs - two earned - on two hits in one inning.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Jon Garland pitched for the first time in nearly 20 months, Franklin Gutierrez and Nick Franklin hit home runs and the Seattle Mariners won their six straight, beating the San Francisco Giants 4-3 on Thursday.
Justin Smoak collected two more hits and drove in a run for the Mariners. Alex Liddi also drove in a run.
Brandon Belt had two hits, including a homer, and scored both runs for the Giants, who are winless in their last five games. Brandon Crawford and Cole Gillespie also drove in runs.
Garland, who last pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 2, 2011, said he was satisfied with his brief outing. He allowed a hit and walked one in one inning.
Giants ace Matt Cain lasted three innings, giving up three runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out two.
Smoak is hitting .583 this spring with six RBIs.
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