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Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Shaun Marcum looks good in first outing in two years

TAMPA — RHP Shaun Marcum looked impressive in his return to a major-league mound.

Marcum pitched two scoreless innings in his first game against big-leaguers since hurting his right elbow two years ago, and the Blue Jays beat the Yankees 9-1 on Saturday.

"Leading up to it, everybody was asking me if I was nervous," Marcum said. "I was like, 'No chance.' I've never been nervous in my life. But then I got out there (Saturday), waiting to pitch that first inning and was more anxious than excited or nervous. I can't wait to get back out there and compete again."

NOT READY: Blue Jays 3B Edwin Encarnacion will not make his spring debut for at least a few days, until his surgically repaired left wrist can handle at-bats, MLB.com reported.

Encarnacion, who hit .225 with a .320 on-base percentage and a .410 slugging percentage in 85 games with Cincinnati and Toronto in 2009, said he feels pain when he hits the ball off the end of the bat.

Yanks: Beaning gives catcher concussion

TAMPA — Yankees C Francisco Cervelli sustained a concussion after being hit in the helmet by a pitch during the third inning of the game against the Blue Jays.

Cervelli, the DH on Saturday, was able to walk off the field after being hit by RHP Zech Zinicola's pitch. He was taken to a hospital for a precautionary CT scan, which was normal.

"I feel good," Cervelli, 24, said after returning to the ballpark. "Just a little scared. Everything is okay. Rest for a couple days and be back."

Cervelli was hit in the same spot, above his left ear, by a backswing in a winter league game in November.

NEW WEAPON: RHP A.J. Burnett continued to work on his change, throwing only fastballs and changeups — no curveballs — in the loss to the Blue Jays.

"Every time I wanted to throw a hook, I threw a changeup," said Burnett, who allowed two runs on five hits in two innings. "I'm not too worried about results early. (It was all) fastball, changeup. After a couple hitters, it's not too hard to figure out that's all that I'm throwing."

ON THE MEND: DH Nick Johnson (lower back stiffness) took 50 swings in an indoor cage and could be in the lineup Monday.

Phils: Poor outing doesn't worry Blanton

BRADENTON — Phillies RHP Joe Blanton wasn't concerned with his early struggles.

Blanton gave up three runs on four hits in the first inning of a 3-3, 10-inning game with the Pirates. Jeff Clement had an RBI double and Ryan Church a two-run homer.

Blanton said he wasn't surprised the Pirates made a lot of contact. He's working on pitch placement, starting the ball over the plate and working outward.

"If I'm trying to hit corners right out of the gate, I'm way over here and over there and I have a lot more adjustments to make," Blanton said. "I want results in the season. I'd rather have a good ERA in the season than a good ERA in spring training."

Fast facts

Yankees

Where: George Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa. Today: at Twins (ss), 1:05, Fort Myers

Phillies

Where: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. Today: vs. Rays, 1:05, 620-AM

Blue Jays

Where: Dunedin Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Today: vs Tigers, 1:05

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Shaun Marcum looks good in first outing in two years 03/06/10 [Last modified: Sunday, March 7, 2010 12:00am]

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