TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - CC Sabathia pitched seven sharp innings but Derek Jeter remained in a funk at the plate, going hitless in three at-bats during the New York Yankees' 4-0 victory Friday night over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Yankees captain fouled two balls off the area around his left ankle in the first inning, drawing groans from the Steinbrenner Field crowd, before striking out against Edinson Volquez. Jeter was limited to 17 games last season after breaking his left ankle during the 2012 playoffs.
“It’s really not a big deal,” said Jeter, who iced the ankle after playing seven innings at shortstop. “I don’t know how it’s going to feel tomorrow. I do it often.”
Jeter had an RBI grounder in the second, hit another grounder in the fifth and is 5 for 41 overall (.122) in 14 spring training games.
“At this point of the spring, you want to hit the ball hard and we did twice,” Jeter said. “It’s getting better.”
Jeter, who turns 40 in June, announced last month that he plans to retire after the season.
Sabathia, scheduled to start on opening day, scattered four hits and struck out seven.
“If I pitch like that April 1, I’ll be happy,” Sabathia said.
“I think I got better late in the game,” Volquez said. “The tempo, the rhythm, coupled with my mechanics.”
Yankees: Sabathia was coming off five hitless innings Sunday in Panama against the Miami Marlins.
Pirates: Left-hander Francisco Liriano continued to experience some discomfort, one day after leaving a start in the sixth inning with tightness in his left groin. The 30-year-old Liriano is slated to pitch on opening day.