Pirates Sneak By Yankees, 2-1
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Pirates fifth starter Jeff Locke gave up four hits and had three strikeouts in six scoreless innings as the Pirates edged the Yankees 2-1 Thursday afternoon.
“I would say the biggest thing for me today is a confidence-builder,” Locke said. “It’s easy to feel good about today’s outing, especially when it’s the last one. I’m excited, ready to get roaring.”
Francisco Cervelli had a one-out triple off Locke in the sixth, but was left stranded when Ichiro Suzuki popped out and Vernon Wells flew out.
“I felt like I got ahead of hitters better today than I had in the outings prior,” Locke said. “I was able to throw my changeup much more today. That felt good. Curveball felt good. But the combination from fastball to changeup was what made today the best.”
Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda allowed one hit over six shutout innings.
Kuroda retired 10 in a row before Garrett Jones’ third-inning infield single, which deflected off the right-hander’s glove. He then got his final eight batters out.
“The main thing was to stay healthy rather than thinking about the mechanics, and I was able to do that,” Kuroda said through an translator about his exhibition season.
The Yankees will start the regular season with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Teixeira and Curtis Granderson all on the disabled list.
“It’s part of the game,” New York closer Mariano Rivera said. “No one likes to get hurt, but it happens. What we need to do is just make sure that we play the game the way we know how to play. Do the little things. Pitch. We win games like that. Someone will step up. Someone will do what needs to get done to win games.”
New York’s regular-season opener Monday against Boston at Yankee Stadium will be the final one as a player for Rivera, who announced his retirement after this season on March 9.
There is no timetable for when Jeter, who will stay in Florida, will return. The Yankees are hopeful that Granderson (forearm) could play in May, while Rodriguez (hip) might comeback in July.
“Hopefully we’ll go through our injury problems in February, March and April, and after that be as healthy as possible,” Youkilis said.
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano went 1 for 3 after missing Wednesday night’s game against Baltimore due to a stomach virus.
The Pirates are off Friday before playing their Double-A affiliate Altoona on Saturday.