Rivera throws perfect inning in spring debut

BY foxsports • March 13, 2012

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera threw a perfect inning during his first spring training appearance of the year, which came in New York's 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in a game between split squads Sunday.

Rivera was greeted by a standing ovation from most of the announced crowd of 10,810 at George Steinbrenner Field when he entered in the fourth. After Ty Wigginton flew out, Rivera needed 10 pitches before retiring Luis Montanez on flyball that center fielder Chris Dickerson ran down. The right-hander completed a 14-pitch inning - 10 strikes - by getting a grounder from Hector Luna.

Rivera has strongly hinted 2012 could be his final year in the major leagues. Rivera, the career saves leader with 603, is signed through this season.

New York opening day starter CC Sabathia allowed two hits over three scoreless innings. Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick went three shutout innings, giving up three hits.