TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Mariano Rivera makes spring training look like a breeze,
Rivera threw his third consecutive scoreless inning in the New York Yankees' 6-3 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday.
``I feel good,' Rivera said. ``Got a little sweat, that was good.'
Rivera needed just eight pitches to extend his spring training stretch of not giving up an earned run to 24 innings. The last earned run that the right-hander allowed was on March 15, 2008, against Tampa Bay.
After hitting a batter, Rivera got a strikeout and double-play grounder.
Rivera has hinted that 2012 might be his final major league season, but the 42-year old is not ready to make a formal announcement.
``I know that I want to make the right decision,' Rivera said. ``That's what I want to do. When I make the right decision, I don't want to comeback or I don't want say I should have stayed. I want be a thousand percent sure with the right decision.'
New York's Hiroki Kuroda allowed one run and three hits in four innings, throwing 49 of 59 pitches for strikes.
``I'm not a power pitcher,' Kuroda said through a translator. ``I don't strikeout a lot of hitters, so the less pitches the better.'
Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer off Bud Norris for a 5-0 lead in the second. Curtis Granderson had an RBI double during a two-run first.
Houston closer Brett Myers threw two innings in his second straight scoreless outing after allowing at least one run in each of first four appearances.
``He's in a good frame of mind,' Astros manager Brad Mills said. ``He's throwing more with touch and feel.'
Myers will pitch on consecutive days later in spring training.
New York played without several injured regulars, including shortstop Derek Jeter, who missed his second straight game due to a stiff left calf. The captain is expected back on Tuesday night.
New York outfielder Nick Swisher and catcher Russell Martin, both out with groin injuries, also won't be back until Tuesday. Swisher said an MRI exam Saturday on his groin strain was negative.
``Might as well be safe,' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Yankees backup infielder Eduardo Nunez started at shortstop after missing almost two weeks with a bruised right hand. He had an infield hit in two at_bats.
Chris Johnson had an RBI double off Kuroda in the fourth. Norris gave up five runs, five hits and four walks in three innings.
Houston catcher Humberto Quintero, sidelined by a lower back injury, is scheduled to start against the New York Mets on Sunday. He has been playing minor league games.
``The report is he's feeling pretty good,' Mills said. ``He's been swinging against live pitching. He is behind, but not as far as behind as you might think.'
New Astros catcher Landon Powell, signed to a minor league contract on Wednesday, went 0 for 2. Powell was released by Oakland on March 9.
NOTES: Union head Michael Weiner spoke with Yankees' players before the game. New York managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner plans to lower the team's payroll to $189 million from around $210 million over the next few years. Under baseball's new labor contract, the luxury tax threshold will be at $189 million after the 2013 season. ``I have every confidence that given the history of the New York Yankees, the people who run the club, that they are going to be quite active in fielding a competitive team,' Weiner said. ``I would expect that the fans of New York would demand no less than that.' ... Houston OF Jack Cust went 0 for 3 and is hitless in 20 at_bats overall ... Norris threw 39 of 73 pitches for strikes. ... New York RHP David Robertson (bruised right foot) could throw off a bullpen mound on Sunday.
The Associated Press News Service
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