BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia pitched four scoreless innings in his final tuneup for opening day, a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
Pitching in a steady drizzle, Sabathia faced 13 batters, allowed three hits and got five ground-ball outs. He finished spring training with 17 scoreless innings.
"I had some easy innings," Sabathia said. "I worked on making sure my location was good on a couple pitches. I threw the two-seamer pretty good and got some ground balls with it."
Coming off the poorest season of his big league career, Sabathia starts Tuesday at Houston.
Ichiro Suzuki went 3 for 3 with one RBI and a run scored. Eduardo Nunez and Mark Teixeira also had one RBI apiece.
Pittsburgh's Stolmy Pimentel allowed four runs and nine hits in four innings, struck out three and walked one.
It was the Florida finale for the Pirates, who play the Phillies on Friday and Saturday in Philadelphia and then host the Chicago Cubs on Monday in their opener.
Yankees: Sabathia said he mixed in about five-to-10 cut fastballs and was pleased with the results.
"A couple of them backed up," Sabathia said. "But I threw a couple that they swung and missed and I got ground balls on a couple. So, I feel good."
The 33-year-old left-hander said he feels stronger than he did at the end of spring training last year, when he was coming off elbow surgery. He went 14-13 with a 4.78 ERA last season.
"A big difference, strength-wise," Sabathia said. "My arm feels good. My body feels good. No aches and pains, so I'm ready to go."
Pirates: Pimentel is slated to open the season in the bullpen as a long reliever but will be a candidate for spot starts. Just 24, he will be a candidate for the starting rotation in 2015, when the Pirates may have to replace Wandy Rodriguez, Francisco Liriano and Edinson Volquez.
Pirates: Liriano (left groin) reported no ill effects one day after throwing a simulated game and remains on track to be the opening-day starter. It was the first time he'd thrown off a mound in nearly a week.
"It didn't bother me at all," Liriano said. "I feel normal. I think I'm ready to go."
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