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Ankiel's sac fly lifts Astros past Cardinals

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March 22, 2013 04:13 PM EST | AP


KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Rick Ankiel had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to lead the Houston Astros to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

Ankiel pinch-hit for Brandon Barnes after Tyler Greene and Jose Altuve had opened the inning with singles off Edward Mujica.

Altuve had two of Houston's six hits and scored two runs.

Bud Norris, scheduled to be Houston's starter the season opener on March 31, gave up three hits and three walks and struck out four in six scoreless innings. Joe Valdez pitched the eighth to pick up the win for the Astros.

St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia also pitched six innings, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out five.