Michael Pineda 'feeling great' after rehab start

Michael Pineda delivers a pitch in the bullpen Michael Pineda delivers a pitch in the bullpen during the first day of spring training at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

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TAMPA, Fla. - Michael Pineda gave up light singles to the first three batters he faced Thursday night but settled down from there, giving up two runs in four innings in his third rehab outing as he works his way back from shoulder surgery.

"Feeling great tonight," Pineda said after pitching for the Class-A advanced Tampa Yankees in Florida State League play against the Brevard County Manatees at Steinbrenner Field. "The [good] thing is my shoulder is feeling good, everything's doing well."

Pineda, 24, threw 73 pitches, 52 for strikes, and said he feels optimistic about his progress, though the team has him on a 30-day rehab that likely will involve at least two more appearances.

He made his debut for Tampa on June 9, giving up two hits in 41/3 innings, then pitched in a simulated game in Tampa last week while the Florida State League was on its All-Star break.

The 6-7, 260-pound righthander gave up five singles last night, but only one was hit sharply. Two were bloop hits, another bounced just past the third baseman and a fourth was a chopper to third for an infield hit. He struck out three -- the first out of the game and to end the second and third innings -- and took only one batter to a three-ball count, which came on a full-count walk in the second.

Pineda, in good spirits after his outing, said he wanted to go back out for the fifth inning, but pitching coach Jeff Ware told him to stop after four.

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He threw 27 pitches in the first inning, then 23 in the second, so he'll strive to be more efficient next time out, whether it's with Tampa or at Double-A Trenton.

"Tonight, in the first couple of innings I threw a lot of pitches," said Pineda, who went 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA for Seattle in 2011 before he was traded to the Yankees in a deal that included catcher Jesus Montero. "My plan for my next start is to be a little more aggressive the first couple of innings."

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