Andy Pettitte pitches well, avoids freak injury

Yankees starting pitcher Andy Pettitte throws during the

Yankees starting pitcher Andy Pettitte throws during the first inning of an exhibition baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. (March 29, 2013) (Credit: AP)

WASHINGTON -- Andy Pettitte pitched six innings against the Nationals Friday in his last tuneup before he starts the third game of the regular season.

Pettitte also avoided serious injury when he ducked under a large bat shard that flew over his head during a third-inning at-bat by the Nationals' Wilson Ramos.

The ball went to second baseman Robinson Cano for an out. The sharp piece of the bat went too close to Pettitte for comfort. "I saw the ball and all of a sudden I saw the bat right behind it," he said. "I don't know if it was going to hit me or not, but I swear it was right at me. I felt like it was going to hit me right upside the head. That's why I bailed out."

Considering the Yankees' injury luck, it was a minor miracle Pettitte didn't get hit. He allowed two runs (one earned) with no walks and six strikeouts. Kevin Youkils hit his sixth homer in the Yankees' 4-2 victory.

Roster moves

The Yankees designated righthander David Aardsma for assignment and decided to keep righthander Shawn Kelley instead. The Yankees signed Aardsma while he recovered from Tommy John surgery with hope he could help them this year. But they were not impressed with his spring stuff.

Kelley, 28, was obtained from Seattle in the offseason. Manager Joe Girardi said the Yankees wanted someone who could go multiple innings, and Kelley had that over Aardsma.

Spring sensation Vidal Nuno was among a host of players sent to the minor-league camp. That means Boone Logan will be the Yankees' lone lefty in the pen. It also means Cody Eppley and Adam Warren will make the Opening Day roster unless something changes between now and 3 p.m. Sunday.

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