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Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP)

Toronto pitcher Marc Rzepczynski struggled before departing in the fifth inning with a bruised left middle finger and the Blue Jays lost 5-3 to a New York Yankees split-squad on Tuesday night.

Rzepczynski, likely in his final start before Toronto picks it starting staff, was injured when his pitching hand was struck by Ramiro Pena's grounder. The left-hander, who allowed five runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings, said the finger is not too bad and he expects to throw again within a couple days.

``I will be fine,'' Rzepczynski said. ``It's not broken. I can bend it.''

Opening-day starter Shaun Marcum and Ricky Romero are the only two pitchers who have to locked up spots in Toronto's rotation. Rzepczynski, Brian Tallet, Dana Eveland, Brandon Morrow, Brett Cecil and Dustin McGowan, who might begin the season on the disabled list, are the other starting candidates.

``Walks hurt me,'' said Rzepczynski, who walked Derek Jeter to start the first and Alex Rodriguez leading off the fourth. ``Overall, not too happy.''

Sergio Mitre gave up two runs and three hits over six innings for New York. Mitre and Alfredo Aceves would be two of the top options for the Yankees' rotation if a starter was sidelined.

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira underwent treatment for a bruised right elbow and expects to play again on Thursday. He was hit by a pitched ball in Monday night's game against Baltimore.

``I think Thursday, that's probably pretty safe that I'll be able to play,'' Teixeira said. ``If this is during the season, I would have been in here at 6 a.m. working all day to try and get out there and play. But there is no reason to push it right now.''

Teixeira said it was encouraging that he could easily squeeze his right hand.

``It's still sore, but it feels better,'' he said.

The Blue Jays optioned left-handers Jesse Carlson and David Purcey to Triple-A Las Vegas before the game.

``I really like him as a person and what he's done for the club,'' Gaston said of Carlson. ``But he needs to get some work. He had a bad knee and didn't get his work in. Get some innings and come back.''

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera struck out one during a perfect eighth. He has not allowed a run in six innings - including one in a rained-out game - overall.

NOTES: Aceves is day to day with back tightness. ... Blue Jays 1B Lyle Overbay (sore left knee) was back in the lineup. ... Toronto C John Buck (finger) is scheduled to catch Marcum in a minor league game on Wednesday. ... The Blue Jays reassigned OF Jeremy Reed to their minor league camp. ... New York sent OFs Jon Weber and David Winfree to its minor league camp.

Tagged: Yankees, Blue Jays

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