Spring training baseball

Blue Jays center fielder Rajai Davis makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Dan Johnson of the Yankees in Thursday's spring training game at Tampa. Davis was a New London High School and UConn-Avery Point star.
Blue Jays center fielder Rajai Davis makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Dan Johnson of the Yankees in Thursday's spring training game at Tampa. Davis was a New London High School and UConn-Avery Point star. Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press/AP photo

Blue Jays 1, Yankees 0

David Phelps allowed two hits over three scoreless innings Thursday as a New York Yankees' split squad lost to Toronto at Tampa, Fla.

Phelps struck out one and walked one, and has not given up a run in five innings over two starts. He could earn a spot in the rotation to start the season if Phil Hughes remains sidelined by a bulging disk. Hughes is working out in a pool and might resume throwing in a few days.

Brandon Morrow gave up two hits in two shutout innings for Toronto, and Andy LaRoche hit a seventh-inning homer off Chase Whitley.

Toronto outfielder Colby Rasmus didn't play because of minor shoulder tightness. New York catcher Chris Stewart was ejected by first base umpire Marty Foster in the second after he was called out on a close play following a grounder. Stewart argued the call and pointed twice at the umpire while returning to the dugout.

Astros 7, Yankees (ss) 6

Brandon Laird hit a grand slam and Rick Ankiel hit his first home run of the spring, leading Houston to a victory over a split squad of New York Yankees at Kissimmee, Fla.

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.

Nationals 4, Mets 4

Stephen Strasburg struck out six in three innings and Washington and New York played to a tie at Viera, Fla. The game was called after 10 innings.

Strasburg gave up one run and three hits and walked one. It was his second start this spring, both against the Mets - in each outing, he's allowed two straight hits to begin the game.

Jordany Valdespin got two hits against Strasburg. Travis d'Arnaud had two hits for the Mets and scored twice.

Danny Espinosa, Denard Span and Anthony Rendon all doubled for the Nationals. Rafael Montero went two innings in his first spring start for the Mets and gave up a run on three hits.

Diamondbacks 6, Reds (ss) 5

Gerardo Parra drove in three runs and threw out a base runner, leading Arizona to a victory over a Cincinnati split squad at Goodyear, Ariz.

Willie Bloomquist had three hits, including a double, and drove in a run and East Lyme's John McDonald doubled and scored a run for Arizona.

The Reds built a 4-1 lead against starter Ian Kennedy and left-handed prospect Tyler Skaggs. Parra and Bloomquist helped put the Diamondbacks on top.

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