at Tampa, Fla.
Tuesday, March 16
Astros at the plate: Hunter Pence put Houston on the board in the third inning, rapping a run-scoring double off the left-field wall to chase home Jeff Keppinger.Yankees at the plate: Using their probable Opening Night lineup for the first time this spring, the Yankees jumped out to an early lead in the second inning, when Jorge Posada singled, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Nick Swisher's double. Mark Teixeira belted his second spring homer in the third inning, depositing it into the right-field bleachers. Robinson Cano doubled and scored on a Posada single later in the frame. Austin Romine had a run-scoring groundout in the seventh.
Yankees on the mound: Making his second spring start after his previous scheduled effort was canceled by rain, A.J. Burnett was a bit wild, walking four and striking out two in a 66-pitch outing that lasted 2 1/3 innings. Using his fastball, curveball and changeup, Burnett allowed one run on two hits, lowering his spring ERA to 6.75. Zack Segovia recorded two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings, and Mariano Rivera made his spring debut in the fifth, needing 27 pitches to navigate his scoreless inning around a hit, a walk and a strikeout. Mixing in his changeup and throwing sharp curveballs, Phil Hughes turned in another strong outing for a four-inning save, scattering three hits while walking one and striking out two, lowering his spring ERA to 2.08.Worth noting: Thirteen-time Grammy Award winner Paul Simon threw out Tuesday's ceremonial first pitch, clad in a Yankees jacket and cap. ... Teixeira was hit by a Moehler pitch in the first, then homered off him in the third. Grapefruit League records: Astros 6-6, Yankees 6-7. Up next: The Astros will host the Nationals for the final time on the spring on Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. CT. Wandy Rodriguez, who has yielded seven earned runs in five innings, will start for Houston. Opposing him will be Jason Marquis, who was Washington's big pitching acquisition of the offseason. The 31-year-old right-hander has given up five runs in two spring innings.
Joba Chamberlain will try to state his case for the Yankees' rotation more convincingly on Wednesday, as he pitches in relief of starter Andy Pettitte against the Phillies in a 1:05 p.m. ET start on MLB.TV at Bright House Field. Pettitte will be making his first start of the spring after pitching under simulated conditions, opposed by Joe Blanton.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.