TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Kei Igawa took a major step toward earning a spot in New York Yankees' rotation at the start of the season.
Igawa allowed two hits over five innings Tuesday night in the New York Yankees 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies."It was the best one so far," Yankees manger Joe Torre said. "I thought he was fine. I thought his location was much more consistent. It looked like all of his pitches were working. I think he will probably sleep better tonight."Igawa had struggled with control, leaving open the possibility the Yankees would open with Jeff Karstens on the roster and Igawa in the minors. On Tuesday, Igawa struck out three and walked three, throwing 38 of 65 pitches for strikes.New York's Bobby Abreu out since late last month with a strained right oblique, went 0-for-3 in his spring training debut. He hit two balls hard to first base for outs."I feel very good," Abreu said. "No problems at all, I just want to continue to play."Abreu is scheduled to play right field for the first time on Thursday. Acquired from the Phillies last July, he faced his old team for the first time."A lot of good memories, Abreu said. "I got to see my friends."Johnny Damon had an RBI single and Miguel Cairo had a run-scoring double for the Yankees. New York closer Mariano Rivera worked a perfect sixth inning and struck two, including Ryan Howard on a changeup."I'm throwing it more," Rivera said. "It's something to have there."Phillies prospect Zack Segovia, taking the place of Cole Hamels, gave up one run and five hits in five innings.Hammels pitched in a Triple-A game, allowing four runs and four hits 3 2-3 innings. He is 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA in three major league starts during spring training."I'm not concerned," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He will be all right."
Yankees LHP Andy Pettite is expected to miss his scheduled start on Friday due to back spasms. The injury is not believed to be serious. ... Manuel plans to split the left-handed pitchers in his rotation this season. Manuel said the announcement of his rotation order will be coming soon.