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CC Sabathia says he feels fine after struggling in rehab start

Yankees starter CC Sabathia pitches in a rehab

Yankees starter CC Sabathia pitches in a rehab assignment with the Trenton Thunder on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

TRENTON, N.J. - CC Sabathia likely was correct Wednesday night when he said the results of his second rehab start mean very little. At this point, the Yankees probably hope so.

He said he felt fine and healthy, but Sabathia was hit hard as he pitched 32/3 innings for Double-A Trenton at Arm & Hammer Park. He threw 55 pitches (33 strikes) and left with runners on first and second. He allowed five runs (three earned), five hits, a walk, a hit batter and struck out two.

"Results will come when they matter,'' Sabathia said. "I'm just trying to make sure that I can give max effort out there, not feel anything and be healthy.''

Hours earlier, the Yankees -- who have struggled to replace Sabathia and other injured starters Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova -- fell below .500. "It's been tough to watch,'' said Sabathia, who added he's optimistic he could make a difference.

The lefthander hit 93 mph once, according to the stadium's radar gun, and his velocity ranged from 90-92 during his final inning. His average fastball was only 89.6 mph this season, according to FanGraphs, down from 91.3 in 2013.

After retiring the game's leadoff batter, Sabathia allowed back-to-back hits, including a hard double to leftfield. He then induced two flyouts to center.

The third inning was his rockiest. He struggled with his command and allowed a triple, a walk and a double over the centerfielder's head that reached the wall on one bounce.

Sabathia said he did not know what his next step is.

He was 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA before he went on the disabled list May 11 with inflammation in his right knee. He underwent stem-cell treatment, and in his return Saturday he allowed two runs in 21/3 innings for Class A Tampa.

"My secondary pitches weren't that good, but I felt my fastball was coming out pretty good,'' he said Wednesday night. "Health-wise, I'm ready to go.''

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