TAMPA, Fla. -- Michael Pineda looked like a pitcher buckling under the pressure in the first inning.
What followed implied the opposite.
Pineda, in a battle for one of the three available spots in the Yankees' rotation, struggled with his command in a 39-pitch first inning that included a long two-run homer from Pirates' centerfielder Andrew McCutchen.
But Pineda, whose fastball velocity peaked at 94 mph and sat at 91-93, struck out the side in the second, then two of three batters in the third.
Pineda allowed two runs, three hits and a walk while striking out five.
"I'm happy because of the adjustments I made after the first inning," Pineda said, mentioning among them attacking more and closing his left shoulder.
Of his velocity, which hit 93 more consistently than his previous starts, Pineda said, "It's getting better and better."
Swisher leaves game
Nick Swisher, out Thursday-Sunday last week with tightness in his left groin, came out after experiencing tightness in his right groin in the third inning Tuesday. Swisher said no tests were planned and that he'd be out "a couple of days," though Girardi predicted closer to four or five during the YES broadcast. "Better to miss them now than the regular season," Swisher said.
Girardi said Derek Jeter, sidelined since last Friday with a stiff left calf, did not feel anything in the calf but the manager is playing it cautious.
"I just remember last year his calf became an issue," Girardi said of Jeter's injured right calf that landed him on the DL last year. "Even though this is a different one I don't want it to become an issue."
Jeter took BP Tuesday, planned to run Wednesday and should be in the lineup Friday.
David Robertson (foot) threw a bullpen Tuesday and will next throw a simulated game. "We should see him in a game shortly after that," Girardi said . . . Robinson Cano, hit on his left hand by a pitch Sunday, was in the lineup Tuesday.