Minor quiets Yanks with four shutout innings
Lefty allows three hits, two walks; Uggla drives in go-ahead run in Braves' win
TAMPA, Fla. -- Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera made their Spring Training debuts on Saturday, but the Yankees fell, 2-1, to the Braves at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Coming back from offseason surgery on his left ankle, Jeter went 1-for-2 with a sharp single to left field as the Yankees' designated hitter. Rivera, who announced his decision to retire after the 2013 season Saturday morning, tossed a perfect fifth inning in which he struck out Juan Francisco and Chris Johnson, both looking.
The Braves scored their first run in the seventh inning, when Tyler Pastornicky tripled to left-center field and scored on Dan Uggla's two-out single to center off Francisco Rondon. They added an insurance run in the ninth on Jordan Parraz's sacrifice fly.
Left-hander Mike Minor got the start for the Braves, spinning four shutout innings during which he allowed only three hits and two walks. The first hit came on Minor's first pitch of the game, a leadoff single by Jeter in his first plate appearance since Game 1 of the 2012 American League Championship Series.
"It was right down the middle," Jeter said. "He must've felt sorry for me."
The Yankees, meanwhile, started right-hander Jose Ramirez, ranked by MLB.com as the club's No. 13 prospect. Ramirez gave up just one hit and struck out four in four innings. Ramirez was followed by Rivera, who induced a pop fly to second base from Uggla, then fanned Francisco and Johnson to wrap up a 15-pitch inning.
"It was good to be back on the mound. I won't take it for granted," Rivera said. "It's been almost a year that I haven't been on the mound in a real game, so it felt real good, pushing off the leg good. I wasn't holding anything [back]."
Up next: Tim Hudson will be the first Braves pitcher scheduled to complete five innings when he starts against the Marlins at Champion Stadium on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Hudson was pleased the way his arm and body felt as he threw 79 pitches in four innings against the Mets on Monday. Jason Heyward and the Upton brothers are expected to be in the lineup. The game will be broadcast on 680 The Fan and 93.7 FM.