Big weekend for Krauss


KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- 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.

Meanwhile, Patrick Henry graduate Marc Krauss continued to hit well for the Astros. With a single on Saturday, Krauss is now hitting .529 this spring by going 9-for-17 with two doubles and two homers.

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 41⁄2 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.

Ivan Nova gave up three runs and eight hits in four innings in his second spring start for the Yankees. Carter's first spring home run came off Manny Banuelos, the 23-year-old left-hander who didn't pitch last season after having elbow surgery.

Chase Whitley got the win after striking out the only batter he faced. Jose Cisnero took the loss after giving up three hits in New York's three-run sixth.

On Friday, Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos both hit mammoth home runs in the first inning, and the Washington Nationals beat the Astros 8-5.

Krauss went 3-for-4 with a home run for the Astros. Carlos Corporan had two RBIs.

Harper, who said he has felt no pain in his surgically-repaired left knee this spring, hit a two-run homer off Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer in the first inning.

"I've felt great," Harper said. "I've had zero pain on it. I've been able to do everything I've wanted to do. It's felt really good. I'm excited about that."

That it came against a left-hander is a good sign for the lefty swinging Harper, who struggled against them last year. He has a career .229 average against left-handers as opposed to a .292 mark against righties.

"I hit lefties pretty good," Harper said. "I always have. Last year, my knee killed me. I couldn't stay back on lefties. I was killing myself on that. It's going to be a little bit different this year."

Ramos followed three batters later with a three-run drive that went over 400 feet and might have gone out of Space Coast Stadium. The wind was blowing at 16 mph but Ramos didn't need help with this shot.

"I heard it (but) I couldn't even see it," Nationals starting pitcher Tanner Roark said. "I saw a guy in the beer deck look behind him and I went, 'Wow.'"

Nationals right-hander Doug Fister was scratched from his scheduled start because of inflammation in his elbow. Manager Matt Williams says he'll "push him (back) a couple of days, just to make sure; get it out of there."

Washington closer Rafael Soriano saw his first action of the spring and gave up two runs on three hits in one inning.


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.


YANKEES: Nova gave up four hits and two runs in the first inning because he got too many pitches up, he said.

ASTROS: Jarred Cosart was lifted with two outs in the second inning after throwing 51 pitches. He gave up two runs, one earned.


ASTROS: Caution is also the word for pitcher Mark Appel, who is recovering from an appendectomy in January and "hasn't gotten back on the mound yet," according to Porter, since throwing 22 pitches off a mound early in camp.

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