CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- Carl Pavano took a big step forward by simply staying healthy Sunday.
The oft-injured Yankees pitcher allowed one run in two innings during his first spring training start, and New York beat the Philadelphia Phillies 10-5."It's definitely step one in the direction I want to keep heading," Pavano said.The right-hander was on the mound eight days after his left instep was bruised by a line drive during batting practice. Pavano, starting the third season of a $39.95 million, four-year contract, hasn't pitched in the major leagues since June 27, 2005, due to shoulder, back, buttocks, elbow and rib injuries."This is what I've been dealt so I've got to deal with it," he said. "It's always nice to get out there and come out physically feeling good."Pavano, who yielded two hits and two walks, admitted he was antsy and anxious before the game."I though that was all positive things that happened," he said. "I was just excited to get out there, get the season started and make those first couple pitches. I definitely had some extra energy this morning."He threw 16 of 33 pitches for strikes."The inconsistency of control in the zone will get better," Pavano said. "It's been a while since I felt this strong. I'm a little stronger than usual. It's going to take me a little while to get used to that."Phillies starter Cole Hamels, coming off a promising rookie season, allowed two hits in three scoreless innings.Melky Cabrera went 3-for-3 to help the Yankees improve to 4-0 this spring.
Phillies RF Shane Victorino lost his bat while swinging at a pitch in the third. The flying bat went right over Yankees manager Joe Torre, who was sitting outside the dugout with some of his coaches, and into the stands. ... New York closer Mariano Rivera will pitch for the first time this spring Monday against Detroit. LHP Kei Igawa will make his Yankees debut as the starter in the game against the Tigers. ... Yankees RHP Humberto Sanchez (right elbow inflammation) resumed throwing on flat ground. ... Yankees reliever Brian Bruney (back) is scheduled for a bullpen session Monday and could appear in a game later in the week.