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Astros release Ankiel

The SportsXchange

Outfielder Rick Ankiel, who was designated for assignment earlier this week, was released by the Houston Astros, reported Thursday.

Ankiel, 33, ranked second on the team with five home runs but was hitting .194 and had struck out 35 times in 65 plate appearances.

Being released by the team with the worst record in the American League may make it difficult for Ankiel to find another team willing to sign him.

But he is playing in his seventh major league season as an outfielder after his career as a major league pitcher ended in 2004.

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