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Some key Yankees will be honoring Mariano Rivera in Panama

Mariano Rivera of the Yankees salutes the fans

Mariano Rivera of the Yankees salutes the fans in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 26, 2013. Credit: Jim McIsaac

TAMPA, Fla. -- Veterans rarely make long trips during spring training, but there are exceptions. And the Yankees' upcoming trip to Panama City for two games against the Marlins March 15 and 16 is one of them.

The series will honor Mariano Rivera, and the Yankees are bringing plenty of star power. Among those committing: Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Alfonso Soriano and David Robertson.

Adam Warren will start March 15, a night game, and Sabathia will go the afternoon of March 16. Sabathia said Rivera did not make a personal request, but if he had, the answer would have been an automatic yes.

"When I heard about it, I wanted to go," Sabathia said Friday. "I knew that he [Rivera] would be there and it would be a big deal for him. Obviously, playing with him for five years, I wanted to have a chance to go over there and see how that would be for him. But if he personally asked me, I would have had to have gone anyway."


A first for Sori

Soriano has never played first base in his big-league career, and he's not likely to anytime soon. But the 38-year-old outfielder, who does have plentyof experience at second base, has been taking grounders at first, and not just for show.

"We've kicked it around a little bit," Joe Girardi said. "It's something that we'll think about . . . He's played infield. He's athletic enough to do it."


Extra bases

The Yankees beat the Tigers, 3-2, on a walk-off balk by Luis Marte in the bottom of the ninth. Beltran hit a long two-run homer off Anibal Sanchez in the third. Hiroki Kuroda struck out five and allowed one hit in 22/3 scoreless innings . . . Jeter had two singles, giving him four straight hits after an 0-for-10 start . . . Former Yankee Joba Chamberlain pitched a scoreless seventh for the Tigers, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out two . . . Girardi said shortstop Brendan Ryan will be out until "the middle of next week" because of an oblique or lower-back issue. Tests came back negative. "He came in [Thursday] and felt it," Girardi said. "So we just said, 'OK, take a couple of days.' " . . . Sabathia said his next appearance will be Tuesday in Viera, a 21/2-hour drive from Tampa.

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