Astros 12

(16-10, 9-3 away)

Yankees 2

(13-12, 9-3 home)

    7:15 PM ET, March 28, 2007

    George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 040060200 12 - -
    NYY 100010000 2 - -

    Astros 4, Yankees 3

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Woody Williams sometimes has trouble getting fired up for spring training games. Robinson Cano took care of that.

    Cano hit a three-run homer off Williams in the first, but the 40-year-old right-hander followed with four scoreless innings for the Houston Astros in their 4-3 victory Friday over the New York Yankees.

    "You look up there and you're 3-0 and you start getting a little angry," Williams said. "Not that you can always change it, but it takes you up to another level. That's what I needed to jump-start me. I never want to give up runs."

    Williams was also unhappy about the way he started because he was looking to pitch several innings after starting just one other game this spring due to tendinitis in his pitching elbow.

    "I wasn't real pleased," he said. "The way it was going, it was going to be a short outing and I didn't want that to happen. I needed to get some work in and luckily the hitters started hitting balls to our infielders."

    Williams allowed two earned runs and six hits in five innings. He struck out two, walked one and threw 44 of his 66 pitches for strikes.

    Houston turned double plays to end the first, second and fourth innings, and the Yankees managed only four hits after the first.

    It was Williams' first major league outing, and just his second overall, since he threw two innings on March 1. He had pitched in two minor league games since then.

    "First inning I kind of felt like I was feeling a little for the strike zone," Williams said. "Being the first time out in a regular game in a while, I wasn't that sharp coming out. But I think I settled down and started making a lot better pitches -- pitched more aggressively."

    The first-year Astro said he felt good and there was "no concern" about his elbow after his work.

    "We'll see how it feels tomorrow," he said. "But we've been getting better little by little and today was the best day so far."

    Williams was working on his curveball and said Cano's home run came on one that was "left up in the zone." He thinks he can continue to fine-tune that pitch in the rest of his spring training starts.

    "The main thing that was kind of bothering me was the curveball, and that's my bread and butter," he said. "Now I just have to get a feel for it. That's the pitch that allows me to get back in the count when I'm behind and get some quick outs as well."

    Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang allowed one run and four hits with three strikeouts and no walks in five innings. Wang, who had minor tightness in his right forearm and wrist during his last outing, said he felt fine on Friday.

    He threw 61 pitches, 46 for strikes.

    Luis Vizcaino didn't allow a hit or run and struck out two in one inning for New York. Vizcaino was 4-6 last season with a 3.58 ERA in 70 games for Arizona.

    "He's getting better," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "With him it's about command. It's the same thing, but his stuff is good. I thought he was a little sharper today with both his pitches."

    But Torre wasn't as pleased with lefty Ron Villone, who allowed four hits, including home runs to Morgan Ensberg and Adam Everett, in one inning.

    "Villone struggled today," Torre said. "(He) got behind too many people and paid the price for that."

    Brooks Conrad, yet to appear in a regular-season major league game, had the game-winning RBI double in the bottom of the ninth.

    Game notes
    Houston CF Chris Burke, who has struggled this spring, got two hits to raise his batting average to .146. ... The Yankees brought a handful of players from minor league camp on the trip. One of them, Eduardo Nunez, replaced Miguel Cairo at shortstop in the seventh.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


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    Current StreakW2W2
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    Pitching Matchup

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