Jeter Returns To Shortstop, Pettitte Makes Spring Debut In Yankees’ Win
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TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Derek Jeter was back at shortstop and Andy Pettitte returned to the mound, making the New York Yankees feel a little better with opening day less than three weeks away.
Jeter played the field for the first time since ankle surgery last fall and Pettitte made his 2013 spring training debut in the Yankees’ 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
Pettitte, who had been pitching in simulated games, allowed one run and four hits over three-plus innings. The left-hander had three strikeouts and three walks.
“It’s just good to get back out there and see somebody in different uniforms,” Pettitte said. “I felt good. As far as stuff-wise, I didn’t feel great. Felt like my command was nowhere near what I wanted. It gives you something to work on next time.”
Pettitte’s next start is slated for a minor league exhibition Monday, when the Yankees are off.
Jeter had one chance during his four innings of play. He fielded Ben Revere’s two-hopper in the fourth and flipped the ball to second for a fielder’s choice.
“I think it’s a big step towards him finishing his rehab, becoming a player for us,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “You can’t really make that step until you go out there for the first time. I think it’s a big step. I think it’s big just because of what he means to our team.”
“You get nervous a little bit until you get your first ground ball, your first at-bat,” Jeter said.
The Yankees captain last played in the field during the opener of the AL championship series in October.
“The goal is April 1,” Jeter said, referring to the opener against Boston. “Really, just felt like the first spring training game.”
Ben Francisco, signed to a minor league contract Monday, hit a two-run double in the first off Cliff Lee, who gave up five runs — two earned — and six hits in 2 2-3 innings.
“I felt good, and that’s the main thing,” Lee said. “Continue to build up pitches. I had (two) walks, I’m not too happy about that. They got their fair share of hits. We kind of played a little sloppy, and I contributed to that.”
Lee issued one walk or none in 24 of 30 starts last season.
“Just a little erratic for whatever reason in a couple different spots,” Lee said. “Felt really good in the bullpen, and locating well the first inning and half, or whatever it was, and then wasn’t able to make the adjustment as quickly as I needed to.”
This was the second consecutive rough outing for a Philadelphia starter after Roy Halladay gave up seven runs in 2 2-3 innings against Detroit on Tuesday.
“I felt like Lee actually had good stuff,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He got his work in. His arm’s good.”
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, coming back from knee surgery last year, threw his second consecutive 1-2-3 inning. The right-hander needed just nine pitches to record three grounders.
Pettitte left after walking the first two batters in the fourth. Cody Eppley entered and worked out of the jam.
“Stuff-wise, I didn’t feel great,” said Pettitte. “I felt like my command wasn’t anywhere near where I wanted, but it’s good. It gives you something to work on for the next time out.
“I was pretty cooked, but we wanted to get to 60 pitches, and we did that,” said Pettitte.
Jeter went 0 for 2, with a walk. The 38-year old was 0 for 2 Monday in his second game at DH after having a single in two at-bats Saturday.
Ichiro Suzuki had a second-inning RBI single for the Yankees.
Domonic Brown had a run-scoring single off Pettitte during the third. Darin Ruf had a sixth-inning solo homer against David Aardsma.
NOTES: New York RHP Phil Hughes (upper back bulging disk) is to throw batting practice Thursday for the first time since the injury. … Phillies RHP Kyle Kendrick is to take part in a minor league game Thursday. … Girardi spent time with the Army baseball team, which worked out at Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees play the Army at West Point to conclude spring training on March 30. … Yankees LHP Boone Logan (sore elbow) is slated for his third bullpen session Thursday. … New York LHP Clay Rapada (shoulder) expects to resume playing catch on Saturday. … New York optioned RHP Adam Warren, INF Corban Joseph and OF Zoilo Almonte to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
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