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Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte likes starting spring with simulated game

TAMPA — Andy Pettitte has a new spring routine, and he likes it.

The Yankees left-hander struck out three, walked one and allowed one hit during a two-inning simulated game Sunday.

"I felt good," Pettitte said. "Last year I did this, and to me it's good to break it in. I can make this pretty real even though it's a simulated game. It's good for me, I think, for my first start."

Pettitte, 37, threw 18 pitches to former Ray Randy Winn and Colin Curtis in both innings in preparation for his first spring training start Friday against the Nationals.

The simulated game took place on a back field at the Yankees' spring training complex in front of about a dozen fans.

"I couldn't get the big-league field," Pettitte joked. "I've got a lawn mower out here (on the field)."

ROTATION BATTLE: RHP Sergio Mitre, 29, a long shot for the fifth rotation spot, pitched three scoreless innings in an 11-0 loss to the Twins. He struck out three, walked one and allowed two hits.

Former Rays RHP Chad Gaudin, 26, also a rotation long shot, didn't fare as well, giving up three runs and three hits in two-plus innings.

Phils: Two pitchers making progress

CLEARWATER — LHP J.A. Happ and RHP Phillippe Aumont felt better after their second spring outings.

Happ, 27, allowed two hits, walked two and struck out two in 21/3 innings of a 5-3 loss to the Rays. Aumont, 21, replaced him and gave up two hits in 22/3 innings, bouncing back after yielding five runs in an exhibition game against Florida State on Wednesday night.

"I was a little more consistent with mechanics and I was able to throw more strikes," said Aumont, one of three prospects acquired by the Phillies in the Cliff Lee trade. "We've been working the last few days on some stuff and it paid off."

Happ, the runner-up for NL rookie of the year last season, pitched two shutout innings against the Seminoles but said he felt better against Tampa Bay.

"I just need to get reps," he said. "With more reps, that's how you pick up your comfort level."

Jays: Injured pitcher Cecil ready to go

DUNEDIN — Blue Jays LHP Brett Cecil said he will make his spring debut Wednesday, one week after he cut his left thumb while "chopping up chickens."

Cecil, 23, said he will pitch against the Phillies in Dunedin. He went 7-4 with a 5.30 ERA in 18 games, 17 starts, last season as a rookie and is trying to earn a spot in the starting rotation.

SO-SO START: LHP Brian Tallet had a rough spring debut, yielding four runs and four hits in two innings of an 8-5 win over the Tigers. He gave up consecutive homers to Magglio Ordonez and Ryan Strieby in the first and walked two before Johnny Damon's RBI single in the second. "I gave up those two home runs but I was throwing strikes," Tallet, 32, said. "I walked those two guys and that's just mentally staying sharp."

Fast facts

Yankees

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

Phillies

Where: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. Today: at Yankees (ss), 1:05, Tampa; TV: MLB Network

Blue Jays

Where: Dunedin Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Today: at Astros, 1:05, Kissimmee

Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte likes starting spring with simulated game 03/07/10 [Last modified: Sunday, March 7, 2010 9:22pm]
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