By HOWIE RUMBERG, AP Sports Writer
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ A.J. Burnett pitched two scoreless innings in his first start of the spring after a distressing 2010 season, and the New York Yankees beat a Houston Astros split squad 6-5 on Wednesday.
Burnett threw first-pitch strikes to his first five batters and 15 of 21 strikes overall. He froze Clint Barmes with a curveball for his lone strikeout in the first. After giving up two opposite-field singles to start the second, the right-hander calmly induced a double play before getting J.R. Towles to ground out.
Houston starter Bud Norris gave up one hit, a double to Alex Rodriguez to start the second, and an RBI groundout.
New York won it with five runs in the ninth, including a tying, two-run single by Melky Mesa and Russell Martin’s bases-loaded walk with two outs.
The Astros scored four times in the seventh, taking advantage of three straight errors by New York backups to start the inning.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)