MIAMI - Tennis pros James Blake of Tampa and Sam Querrey staged their own home run derby Saturday before the Florida Marlins' exhibition game against the New York Yankees.
The two Americans, in town for the Sony Ericsson Open in nearby Key Biscayne, connected on batting-practice pitches from Marlins hitting coach Jim Presley. After the 6-foot-6 Querrey hit back-to-back homers over the scoreboard in left field, Blake hit one out.
"I wanted to make sure I could walk back into the locker room and not be embarrassed," Blake said.
Blake said he also homered taking batting practice at the Houston Astros' ballpark, but he came up empty at Shea Stadium during the U.S. Open.
"I couldn't get one out of Shea, and that's my dream," Blake said
ASTROS: Pitcher Woody Williams was placed on unconditional release waivers. The team owes the 41-year-old right-hander $6.5 million. On the field, former Ray Ty Wigginton's three-run homer keyed a five-run sixth inning and Houston defeated Detroit 9-4 in the final exhibition game for both teams.
CARDINALS: Rico Washington celebrated making the Opening Day roster by hitting a home run in St. Louis' 10-3 loss to Double-A Springfield on Saturday.
Washington, who played for Springfield and Triple-A Memphis last year, was told before the game by Manager Tony La Russa that he'd made the team.
MARINERS: Their Opening Day roster is set, and it will include spring star Mike Morse and speedy Charlton Jimerson as the last two position players to make the team.
NATIONALS: First baseman Nick Johnson and second baseman Ronnie Belliard were picked by Manager Manny Acta to start. Johnson had been competing with Dmitri Young during spring training for the first base job. Johnson missed the 2007 season with a broken leg. Belliard was in competition with Felipe Lopez.
ROYALS: A groin strain has put Hideo Nomo's comeback bid on hold.
TWINS: At Bradenton, former Ray Delmon Young homered and went 2-for-2 to help the Minnesota Twins beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 in the final exhibition game of the spring for both clubs.
Young's solo homer off Matt Morris in the fourth inning tied the score at 2. Young, expected to be the Twins' starting left fielder, was acquired from Tampa Bay in an offseason trade and finished the spring with a .286 batting average and two home runs.
YANKEES: Left-hander Andy Pettitte reported no problems one day after throwing 25 pitches off a bullpen mound. Pettitte will pitch in a minor-league game today.