- Associated Press - Sunday, March 16, 2014

PANAMA CITY (AP) - CC Sabathia pitched five hitless innings Sunday and the New York Yankees split squad bounced back after getting no-hit a day earlier to beat the Miami Marlins 7-0 in Mariano Rivera’s home country.

The Marlins pitched a no-hitter Saturday in a 5-0 victory in the first game here to honor Rivera, baseball’s career saves leader. Miami had only one hit against five Yankees pitchers Sunday.

“It was kind of strange: one hit away from having back-to-back no-hitters,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I look at the series and the Panama people got to see some good hitting, some good pitching, some really good defensive plays. They got to see a lot.”

 Sabathia (1-1) didn’t allow any walks and had five strikeouts in his third start this preseason after entering with a 5.40 ERA.

Gary Sanchez homered for the Yankees, while Francisco Cervelli and Yangervis Solarte each had three hits.

Dean Anna’s double against right-hander Nathan Eovaldi pushed Cervelli across in the second inning. The Yankees produced a four-run fifth thanks to hits by Carlos Beltran, Cervelli and Solarte against reliever Adam Conley.

Derek Jeter was the designated hitter, giving up his shortstop position to Anna. He went 0 for 3 with a walk.

The 20,000 fans at the Rod Carew stadium showed their appreciation holding up signs in Spanish that read “We love you NY,” ”We hope you come back,” and “Love, Jeter.”

Giancarlo Stanton, who had Miami’s only hit, caught the opening pitch by Roberto Duran, a former four-time world boxing champion and self-declared Yankees fan.

Rivera threw out a ceremonial first pitch that was caught by David Robertson on Saturday, a pitch full of symbolism. Robertson will replace Rivera as closer this season. Rivera, 44, retired last season with a record 652 saves in 19 seasons with the New York Yankees.

“How often do you get to see Mariano Rivera and Roberto Duran throw out the first pitch?” Girardi said.


After the Yankees‘ loss Saturday, Sabathia promised Panamanian fans a good game and he fulfilled it, lowering his ERA to 2.70.

“It was good to go out and put this behind me,” Sabathia said. “I got two more starts to be ready for April 1.”


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