For Sabathia, it's a starting point

CC Sabathia pitched five solid innings in his spring training debut, helping the Yankees beat the Florida Marlins 7-3 on Friday in Tampa, Fla.
CC Sabathia pitched five solid innings in his spring training debut, helping the Yankees beat the Florida Marlins 7-3 on Friday in Tampa, Fla. Kathy Willens/AP Photo

Tampa, Fla. - New York ace CC Sabathia got a little stronger with each inning in his spring training debut.

After a rough first inning, Sabathia worked four more innings, allowing two runs and eight hits in the Yankees' 7-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Friday.

The Marlins scored twice on three hits and a walk in the first against Sabathia, who also was charged with an error on an errant pickoff attempt to first. Rob Brantly had an RBI single during the inning.

"He got better as the day went on, so I was happy," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

The left-hander struck out two and walked one in his first game since arthroscopic surgery Oct. 25 to remove a bone spur from his left elbow. Sabathia pitched in several simulated games before making the start Friday.

"Felt pretty good first time out," Sabathia said. "Didn't have any problems. Changeup was good. Fastball command needs to be a little better."

Sabathia, the expected opening day starter, had two trips to the disabled list last year. A strained left groin kept him out from June 24 to July 17 and an inflamed left elbow sidelined him from Aug. 8-24. The 32-year-old was 15-6 with a 3.38 ERA, his fewest regular-season wins since 2006, and 2-1 in three playoff starts.

"The last few innings, his fastball command was really good," Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli said. "His slider was amazing the whole game."

Derek Jeter played shortstop flawlessly for the second time since ankle surgery last fall. The New York captain went 1 for 3, hitting a single between short and third in the third.

"Everything is good," Jeter said. "Making steps. No problems. Honestly, it's like any other spring training. You get more action as you move along."

Cervelli hit a solo homer in the second, and Travis Hafner had a two-run shot in the third off John Maine. The Miami starter gave up three runs and three hits in three innings.

New York third baseman Ronnier Mustelier left in the fourth with bruises on both legs after running into a railing near the stands on Juan Pierre's foul ball. Girardi doesn't expect Mustelier to play until Tuesday.

• The Yankees announced they have agreed to terms on a one-year major league contract with outfielder Brennan Boesch. The 27-year old Boesch hit .240 with 12 home runs and 54 RBs in 132 games with Detroit last season. He was released by the Tigers on Wednesday.

New York will be without outfielder Curtis Granderson until at least May due to a broken right forearm. He was hit by a pitch from Toronto's J.A. Happ on Feb. 24. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees placed right-hander Michael Pineda on the 60-day disabled list. The pitcher could return in June following right shoulder surgery last year.

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