TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Andy Pettitte is one step closer to pitching in the majors again.
Pettitte threw a scoreless inning in his first game since ending a one-year retirement and the New York Yankees beat the New York Mets 8-3 on Wednesday.
``It felt good to be able to get out there and get the inning in, especially in a big league game' Pettitte said. ``It definitely felt a little weird, there's no doubt about it. Once I got out there, it was just like you never left. It was fun.'
Many of the announced crowd of 10,813 at Steinbrenner Field gave Pettitte a standing ovation when he took the mound to start the sixth. The left-hander allowed one baserunner, coming on Cory Vaughn's leadoff single to right.
``Obviously, anytime you get fans to cheer for you, that's a good thing,' Pettitte said. ``It's all coming back. I feel like the stuff is there. I just have to build stamina.'
Pettitte agreed to a minor league contract on March 16 and could be ready to join the Yankees in May.
``It was good to see him get on the hill,' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ``I thought he was all right. I hope that everything goes according to plan, and look at five or six starts to build him up.'
Pettitte last played in 2010, when he went 11-3 and was an All-Star. He is 240-138 for his career with the Yankees and Houston.
If his comeback is successful and he's added to the major league roster, Pettitte would get a $2.5 million, one-year contract. He threw nine of 13 pitches for strikes.
Ike Davis hit his fourth homer for the Mets, a three-run shot off Freddy Garcia in the third. Dillon Gee gave up one run and four hits over five innings.
``It's nice to hit a ball like that, but it doesn't count,' Davis said.
The Mets completed a whirlwind end to spring training. The team traveled across Florida on Tuesday night to play the Yankees and then were scheduled to fly to New York after the game for Thursday's regular-season opener against Atlanta.
``I'm ready for this thing to start,' Davis said.
Due to their exhibition schedule, the Mets did not get a chance for an off-day workout at 4-year-old Citi Field, where the team erected a new fence in front of the old wall. The height needed for a home run was lowered to 8 feet from as much as 16 and cutting the distance from home plate by up to 12 feet.
``Of course, you would always like a practice day right before the game, but this year we weren't able to do it,' Davis said. ``So, we'll just go out there and make do with what we've got and then go win the ballgame.'
Backup catcher Francisco Cervelli hit a two-run homer for the Yankees, then was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in a surprise postgame move.
Cervelli's demotion came after the Yankees acquired catcher Chris Stewart from San Francisco for pitcher George Kontos. General manager Brian Cashman said Stewart will be the backup, while Cervelli provides organizational depth with minor league catcher Austin Romine sidelined indefinitely because of a back injury.
``What can I say?' Cervelli said. ``It's not my decision. I'm disappointed with this. If they want me to prove that I can catch in the big leagues, I'll go there and I'll prove it. Just got to keep moving forward, that's it.'
Garcia allowed three runs and four hits in 4 2-3 innings. The right-hander struck out four and walked two.
NOTES: Yankees reliever Boone Logan (lower back spasms) is questionable for Friday's opener and and Cashman left open the possibility of the left-hander going on the DL. An MRI was negative. ... After the deadline for opening day rosters, the Yankees selected the contract of LHP Clay Rapada from Scranton and designated OF Justin Maxwell for assignment. ... Earlier, INF Bill Hall was released. RHPs Joba Chamberlain (ankle and elbow), Brad Meyers (right labrum strain) and Michael Pineda (right rotator cuff tendinitis), LHP Cesar Cabral (left elbow fracture) and Romine were placed on the 15-day DL, raising the Yankees' total on the DL to seve. ... The Yankees are interested in a minor league deal with RHP Ramon Ortiz, who was released by San Francisco on March 26. ... Yankees RHP Michael Pineda, starting the season on the DL because of a right shoulder injury, could find out Thursday when he can resume throwing. ``I'm feeling much better,' Pineda said. ``No pain right now.' ... The Mets selected the contracts of RHP Miguel Batista and OF Mike Baxter from Triple-A Buffalo. RHPs Pedro Beato (right shoulder stiffness) and D.J. Carrasco (sprained right ankle) were placed on the 15-day DL. RHP Armando Rodriguez was sent outright to Double-A Binghamton. RHP Josh Stinson was assigned on a waiver claim to Milwaukee. ... The Yankees recalled RHP David Phelps from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to be the long man out of the bullpen.
The Associated Press News Service
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