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Veterans Ankiel, Bedard report to camp


KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Pitcher Erik Bedard and outfielder Rick Ankiel, a pair of veterans battling for a spot as non-roster invitees this spring, each reported to camp Tuesday.

Ankiel, who spent the previous two seasons with first-year manager Bo Porter in Washington, lives about two hours south of Kissimmee in Fort Pierce, Fla., near where the Marlins and Cardinals have Spring Training. He worked out at the Cardinals' facility for a few days with Tyler Greene and Matt Dominguez before driving north on the Florida Turnpike to the Astros' facility Tuesday morning.

"It feels good," Ankiel said. "Another spring. It's exciting. Driving up here this morning, I was excited for the opportunity and looking forward to seeing what happens."

Ankiel, 33, hit .228 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 68 games with the Nationals last year, and is four years removed from his time in St. Louis, where he belted 25 homers in 2009. Bedard, 34, made 24 starts last year for Pittsburgh, going 7-14 with a 5.01 ERA.

He was one of the best lefties in baseball in 2006-07, going 28-16 in that span with the Orioles. Bedard also spent four years with Seattle in the American League West, where the Astros will now be playing.

"I'm going to come here and compete and do the best I can, and at the end of the day, that's all I can do," Bedard said. "If I make the team, I make the team, and if not, I move on. I would love to stay here and help contribute."

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