TAMPA, Fla -- The Yankees lost twice today, once in Tampa and once in Kissimmee, and were lucky they didn't lose an outfielder or two in the process. The rundown:
1. JAYS BEAT YANKEES, 1-0: David Phelps, David Aardsma, Clay Rapada and four others pitched well against a Blue Jays A-team lineup, but the difference was a solo home run by Andy LaRoche off Chase Whitley in the seventh. Phelps has now thrown five shutout innings and allowed five hits in two starts. The Yankees had seven hits, two by Juan Rivera, one of which was a double.
2. ASTROS BEAT YANKEES, 7-6: Ex-Yankee farmhand Brandon Laird hit a grand slam off Shane Greene in the sixth inning to win this one for Houston, but two of the kid outfielders, Zoilo Almonte and Melky Mesa, had two-hit games and Mesa had three RBIs. Francisco Cervelli threw out two more baserunners, and with his rival, Chris Stewart, getting tossed in the second inning of the Tampa game, has to be considered in the lead for the starting catcher's job. The Yankees are now 1-6 in preseason play.
3. LOOK OUT! Scary moment in the seventh inning when Ronnier Mustelier, a 5-8 fireplug, and Slade Heathcott, who looks like an MMA fighter, ran into one another full speed in right-center field. Somehow Mustelier held onto the ball and both popped up unhurt. Mustelier even had a single in the eighth inning. Afterward, each had nice things to say about the other. "Little tank," an admiring Heathcott said of Mustelier. Mustelier, who speaks little English, pointed to Heathcott and said, "Muy fuerte!" Very strong.