Nova dominant into seventh, Yankees beat Braves

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 19, 2014 at 5:22 pm •  Published: March 19, 2014
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KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Ivan Nova pitched two-hit ball while working into the seventh inning for the first time this spring, and the New York Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves 7-0 Wednesday.

Nova didn't walk a batter and didn't allow a runner past second base. He said he felt like he could have kept going until he was pulled after allowing a double to Ryan Doumit.

"I expected to pitch six, but not into the seventh," Nova said. "I left feeling strong. This was a good day. I felt really comfortable."

Nova struck out five in 6 1-3 innings and lowered his ERA to 3.66 in his fifth start.

Carlos Beltran had three hits and drove in two runs and Adonis Garcia raised his spring batting average to .423 with two RBIs.

David Hale went 4 1-3 innings, allowing three runs and walking three. With injuries to several starters, Hale is in the mix for one of the final two spots in the rotation. He has a spring ERA of 5.11.

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Yankees: Nova was asked if he feels like a veteran because he leads the team with five starts. He laughed at that one.

"I guess I've been here a while but do I feel like a veteran? No, no, no," Nova said. "But I have been here long enough to know what I am doing.'

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he had no problems letting Nova pitch into the seventh inning.

"He was getting batters out. I thought he looked great," Girardi said.

Braves: Hale knows he's under close scrutiny as the Braves try to scrape together a starting rotation. He was excited about facing much of the Yankees regular starting lineup.

"I grew up watching Derek Jeter," Hale said. "That was fun."

What wasn't fun were the walks. Hale had only walked two batters all spring but he was concerned after walking three against the Yankees.

"I know I have to cut down on the walks," Hale said. "I figured out what I was doing wrong and I need to make some corrections. Right now, I am absolutely where I want to be."