CC Sabathia of the Yankees against the Blue Jays at...

CC Sabathia of the Yankees against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. (May 24, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

TAMPA, Fla. -- CC Sabathia cruised through a minor-league start after an early scare.

The Yankees' Opening Day starter took a shot off his right shin in the first inning Thursday but rebounded to go six strong innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Double-A Trenton.

Jose Pirela, the second batter Sabathia faced, lined the first pitch up the middle and off Sabathia for an infield single. "Actually, I tried to kick it, to be honest with you," said Sabathia, who had a bandage on the shin. "It always feels better when you get hit, you get the out. That wasn't the case, but I feel pretty good. No problem at all."

Sabathia showed no ill effects afterward, moving quickly and smoothly later in the first to field a grounder and throw out Cody Johnson at first. Pirela also got the final hit off Sabathia, a one-out single in the third.

Sabathia was so effective, throwing 50 of 65 pitches for strikes, that he needed an extra inning to reach his pitch count. "Mechanics were good," Sabathia said. "The last one [start] I had, I had a pretty rough one . . . so I came in pretty focused and had some things to work on. Throwing balls in to righties, two-seamer was good."

Sabathia has two more exhibition starts, including the first major-league spring training game at the Miami Marlins' new ballpark on April 1. "It will be fun, being able to go down there and open up the park and face big-league hitters," Sabathia said. "I'm sure that first game in the park, they'll pretty much have their lineup in. It will be a good test."

Preston Mattingly, son of former Yankees star and current Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, singled and flied out against Sabathia.

More Yankees headlines