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For one day, Derek Jeter flies under the radar

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter forces out Philadelphia Phillies

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter forces out Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bobby Abreu, left, at second base during the second inning of an exhibition baseball game on Saturday, March 1, 2014 in Tampa, Fla. Credit: AP / Charlie Neibergall

TAMPA, Fla. -- For Derek Jeter, reaching base twice and getting somewhat of a test in the field in his second exhibition game of his final spring training typically would have rated higher on the attention scale.

But Saturday wasn't typical.

Not with Masahiro Tanaka pitching in his first game as a Yankee and front-of-the-rotation starters CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda preceding him to the mound.

"I had to do a lot of things to get him under the radar today," Joe Girardi joked.

Jeter went 0-for-2 with a strikeout in his six innings. He reached in the third on a walk and in the fifth on a throwing error by third baseman Cody Asche.

What Girardi most liked from the 39-year-old shortstop's day was the double play he turned. With Ben Revere going on the pitch, Jeter fielded a high chopper up the middle, tagged Revere and flipped to first.

"I thought that was a big play," Girardi said. "Shows me that his mobility is there. He's not favoring anything, not wincing. He just moved to what he had to do. He did what he had to do."


Nice work

Kuroda needed only 17 pitches to retire the six batters he faced. He was so efficient in his two innings that he did extra work afterward because the Yankees wanted him to throw in the range of 35 pitches.

"We had to make him go throw a bullpen, he got through his innings so easy," Girardi said. "Down in the zone, good command. Kind of what we're used to seeing from him."

Kuroda said it was exciting to be part of a day in which Tanaka made his debut. He was impressed with what he saw from the 25-year-old.

"The biggest thing was he looked calm out there and the command was there," Kuroda said through his translator. "He looked good."


Slow go for Sori

Girardi said last week that he expected Alfonso Soriano, who missed five days with flu-like symptoms, to make his debut Sunday in Dunedin against the Blue Jays. But even though Soriano has worked out the last three days, he still is feeling symptoms and will not travel Sunday.

"Today was the best day [in a while],'' Soriano said. "But I don't think so ].''

Girardi said the outfielder saw a doctor Saturday afternoon. "It will probably be a few more days," he said. "He's just not quite at full strength and we don't want to run him out there."


Robertson Panama-bound

Add David Robertson to the list of players who have committed to going to Panama for the two-game series March 15-16 against the Marlins, an event to honor Mariano Rivera. Jeter previously said he will go and word is Sabathia also has volunteered.

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