The Associated Press
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Kelly Johnson homered after Mark Teixeira’s first hit of the spring, and the New York Yankees beat a Houston Astros split squad 9-6 on Saturday.
Teixeira, playing in his second spring game after missing most of last season due to wrist surgery, led off the third inning with a long double off reliever Darin Downs. Johnson hit the next pitch for his first homer.
It was his first hit since June 11.
Teixeira played 4 1-2 innings at first base and went 1-for-2 with a walk while “continuing to knock off some rust, get my legs in shape, get my swing in shape,” he said. “I was glad I saw a walk today. That was a good step for me, just seeing pitches.”
Teixeira was also happy to get some swings from both sides of the plate.
“I like doing that in spring training because we have days off, and sometimes pitchers are changing so much,” he said. “You can go two or three games without facing a left-handed pitcher. I’ll go a week without hitting right-handed.”
Chris Carter hit a three-run homer for the Astros, and Jose Altuve had two hits and scored twice.
Houston manager Bo Porter lost his first replay challenge. Yankees manager Joe Girardi remained 0-0 on challenges after going out to talk over whether Brett Gardner’s line drive had actually been caught by Astros left fielder L.J. Hoes in the fourth inning.
“I went out there to see what they saw, and they decided to huddle, so I really didn’t have to do much,” Girardi said.
Porter challenged an out call at first base after Teixeira fielded Jonathan Villar’s second-inning bunt and tossed the ball to Eduardo Nunez covering first base. Porter challenged whether Nunez’s foot was on the bag. The call was upheld within seconds.
“We decided, with this being the first game in which we actually had replay that it’s a close call, and you want to go out there and test the system,” Porter said.
Phillies 11, Astros (ss) 3: CLEARWATER, Fla. — Carlos Ruiz and Cody Asche each hit a three-run homer to send the Philadelphia Phillies past a Houston Astros split squad 11-3 on Saturday.
Asche connected in the fifth inning to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead, and Ruiz’s drive in the sixth made it 7-3.
Astros starter Dallas Keuchel held Philadelphia hitless for three innings. His only baserunner came on a walk, and he struck out two.
Phillies starter Roberto Hernandez walked four and struck out four in 3 1-3 innings. He allowed one run and two hits in his third start of the spring.
Nationals (ss) 4, Cardinals 4: JUPITER, Fla. — Trevor Rosenthal had a pain-free spring training debut and Michael Wacha pitched three effective innings for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 4-4 tie with a Washington Nationals split squad that was called after 10 innings Saturday.
Groin pain prompted the Cardinals to sideline Rosenthal for a few days this spring, but that wasn’t a problem Saturday. The hard-throwing closer said he’s nearly in regular-season form following his first Grapefruit League appearance.
Destin Hood’s three-run homer gave the Nationals a 4-1 lead in the eighth. St. Louis tied it with three in the bottom half, including Greg Garcia’s two-run single.
Dodgers (ss) 5, Rangers 5: SURPRISE, Ariz. — Paul Maholm pitched three steady innings and Mike Baxter went 2 for 2 with two RBIs for a split squad of Los Angeles Dodgers in their 5-5 tie with the Texas Rangers on Saturday.
The game was halted after nine innings.
Adrian Gonzalez walked with the bases loaded for the Dodgers. Maholm allowed one run on three hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
Brewers 7, Royals 6: PHOENIX — Aramis Ramirez hit a three-run double in the first inning on the first pitch he saw this spring, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Kansas City Royals 7-6 on Saturday.
The third baseman made his first start since having surgery in early January to remove a polyp from his colon. Ramirez went 2 for 2 with a walk and scored a run in his spring debut.
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