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Brian McCann glad he caught Ivan Nova, who allowed two hits in 61/3

Brian McCann sits in the dugout between innings

Brian McCann sits in the dugout between innings of a spring training game against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, Fla., Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. Credit: AP / Gene J. Puskar

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Brian McCann didn't come to his old spring training home Wednesday to visit with his former Braves teammates.

"I didn't need to be here," he said. "I needed to catch [Ivan] Nova."

McCann was glad he did and glad with what he saw from Nova. Pitching against an Atlanta lineup that had seven of its regulars, Nova allowed two hits in 61/3 innings and struck out five in the Yankees' 7-0 victory.

"When he's on, he gets a lot of ground balls and a lot of strikeouts," McCann said. "And he's able to pitch to all quadrants of the plate to righties and lefties. When you do that and you work downhill like he does, he misses barrels."

Nova, who has a 3.66 ERA in five outings, said he felt great despite pitching with a slight cold on a hot day.

"I had a really good catcher behind me that knows those hitters really well," he said. "We have really good communication, not only the day that you pitch. He's a veteran catcher. He knows what to do."

Carlos Beltran had three hits and two RBIs for the Yankees.

Jeter feted

Derek Jeter was treated like a rock star in his final visit to Champion Stadium. The standing-room only crowd of 10,413 gave him multiple ovations: when he was announced, each time he came to the plate, and when he was removed for a pinch runner. It's a sign of things to come for the Jeter farewell tour.

Jeter went 0-for-4 (he reached on a fielder's choice) and is batting only .133. The Yankees hope that's not a sign of things to come.

"My guess is he's not going to panic either way," manager Joe Girardi said. "I think the important thing is he just feels good."

Trainer's room

Jacoby Ellsbury ran for the first time on his injured calf, but will not travel Thursday when the Yankees face his old club, the Red Sox, in Fort Myers. Girardi said he didn't know if Ellsbury will play Friday . . . Brendan Ryan (back) is expected to return and start at shortstop.

New York Sports