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Yankees' Pineda solid in final bid for starting job

TAMPA — RHP Michael Pineda allowed his first runs of the spring Sunday. It didn't appear to hurt his cause.

Pineda, competing to be the Yankees' No. 5 starter after missing two years with an injured shoulder, allowed three runs and six hits in six innings in a 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays.

Former Rays C Dioner Navarro had an RBI single in the second to end Pineda's scoreless streak at 10 innings. Pineda avoided further damage by getting an inning-ending double play from Ryan Goins with the bases loaded.

"He made pitches when he had to," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Pineda, who threw in the mid 90s as a Mariners rookie in 2011, has been sitting around 90 this spring but has gotten outs with his slider. He used his changeup more Sunday and said he felt comfortable with it.

"I like that I threw a lot of strikes (Sunday) and got a lot of ground balls," he said.

Pineda is considered the front-runner in a battle with RHPs David Phelps and Adam Warren and LHP Vidal Nuno for the final rotation spot. Girardi was expected to announce his decision Tuesday.

STILL OUT: CF Jacoby Ellsbury, scratched March 16 with right calf tightness, took batting practice and ran the bases. He could return Tuesday in a minor-league game. "Just building up," he said. "Want to make sure it's 100 percent."

Jays: Reyes sits

TAMPA — Blue Jays SS Jose Reyes was held out of the lineup and remains day to day with a tight left hamstring.

"He feels a little better," manager John Gibbons said. "We still don't think it's a big deal."

Reyes was hurt a day earlier in a game against the Tigers. Gibbons said the club wanted to be cautious but still believes he won't miss much time.

BIRTHDAY BOY: LHP Mark Buehrle, pitching on his 35th birthday, allowed a run and seven hits in 61/3 innings in the win over the Yankees. His birthday plans: "I just dropped the family off at the airport," he said. "I'm going to go home and clean up the house."

Phils: Kendrick sharp

CLEARWATER — RHP Kyle Kendrick looked crisp in his first Grapefruit League action in more than two weeks and he said he is feeling strong as he prepares for his first regular-season start, against the Rangers on April 2.

Kendrick allowed one run on five hits in six innings in a 5-1 win over the Twins. He struck out six and walked one.

"I knew (Sunday) was going to be my last outing before we get up north, so just wanted to work on everything, be aggressive, kind of throw everything," Kendrick told mlb.com. "Worked on my curveball and felt pretty good. … I threw it for strikes a lot. Pleased with that. I think that's going to be good for me this year."

Kendrick said he feels good after a 2013 season cut short by nearly three weeks because of shoulder inflammation. That's important to the Phillies, who will be missing ace LHP Cole Hamels for about the first month of the season.

"That's the main thing is your health," Kendrick said. "I thought about it over my career, but after last year and having that, how much health really means to you … you don't really take it for granted once you have something."

INFIELD SETTLED: Cody Asche all but locked up the starting third base job when top prospect Maikel Franco was sent to minor-league camp. The Phillies made another move involving a third baseman when they outrighted veteran INF Kevin Frandsen off the 40-man roster.

. FAST FACTS

Blue Jays

Games: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Tickets: (727) 733-0429; bluejays.com

Today: vs. Phillies, 1:05

Phillies

Games: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Tickets: (727) 467-4457; phillies.com

Today: at Blue Jays, 1:05, Dunedin

Yankees

Games: Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive (corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Dale Mabry), Tampa

Tickets: (813) 879-2244; yankees.com

Today: off

Yankees' Pineda solid in final bid for starting job 03/23/14 [Last modified: Sunday, March 23, 2014 9:08pm]
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