Rivera notches big hit, Phelps spotless for Yanks
First baseman goes 3-for-4, drives in three; righty tosses five scoreless innings
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Juan Rivera had a bases-clearing double in the top of the fifth inning to lead the Yankees to a 3-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
New York did its damage against left-hander Brett Cecil, who is attempting to make the Blue Jays' bullpen as a long reliever. Cecil walked the first batter he faced and then induced what should have been a double-play grounder but was turned into a fielding error for shortstop Mike McCoy.
Cecil then walked another batter to load the bases with nobody out. Rivera, who was already 2-for-2 on the afternoon, broke the scoreless game by driving one into the gap in right-center field. Cecil was charged with two of the three runs while allowing one hit and an alarming three walks in 1 1/3 innings of work.
Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ continued his strong work by pitching 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He allowed four hits and one walk while striking out two in his fourth appearance of the Grapefruit League season. Happ threw 34 of 57 pitches for strikes in his longest outing this spring.
Yankees starter David Phelps was nearly flawless as he allowed just three hits and one walk over five scoreless innings of work. Phelps has allowed just one run in 14 innings this spring and continues to make a strong case in his bid to win the No. 5 spot in New York's rotation.
Up next: Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda will make his second start of the spring against the Cardinals on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET at George M. Steinbrenner Field, broadcast live on MLB.TV. He gave up four runs (one earned) on three hits over 1 2/3 innings in his first Grapefruit League appearance. Derek Jeter is also expected to play for the second time this spring, once again serving as the Yankees' designated hitter.