LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Andy Pettitte feels like he’s getting a boost from a full spring training.
The 40-year-old left-hander stuck out five over 6 1-3 innings in his longest outing of the year as the New York Yankees lost to the Detroit Tigers 10-6 Saturday.
Pettitte allowed four runs, eight hits and one walk in his second spring training outing against a big league opponent. He has one exhibition start left.
“I feel really good,” Pettitte said. “I got some balls up, but I got it right where it needed to be when I needed it. Getting into the seventh inning was great.”
Pettitte retired before the 2011 season, then changed his mind last year and reported to Yankees midway through camp.
“It’s my first normal spring training in three years,” Pettitte said. “It feels so normal. It feels like I was never gone, like I never retired.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he didn’t have a problem with Pettitte starting the seventh.
“Andy was great and I though he threw really well,” Girardi said. “I’ m encouraged. He gets one more start and we’ll tone it down a bit to be ready for the season. You saw how well he pitched last year, so we know what we are getting from him.”
Pettitte said he isn’t concerned with the Yankees’ numerous injuries.
“I expect to win,” Pettitte said. “Even if we have to make some changes, I expect to win the division.”
Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings in his first start against major league batters since the World Baseball Championship.
Bruce Rondon, expected to replace Jose Valverde as Detroit’s closer, allowing a two-run homer in the eighth to Ben Francisco, who also hit a solo drive in the fourth against Sanchez.
“Rondon has been inconsistent,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “He’s had some good outings and some not so good outings. I don’t have any idea. There’s still a week to go.”
Eduardo Nunez also homered for New York, and Juan Rivera had three hits.
Cody Eppley allowed five runs and five hits retiring a batter and saw his ERA climb to 14.29.
Miguel Cabrera homered over the large screen in center field and Jhonny Peralta and Kevin Russo also homered for the Tigers. Torii Hunter and Alex Avila had three apiece.
NOTES SS Derek Jeter took four at-bats as a designated hitter for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate in Tampa. He grounded out all four times, but Girardi said he has heard encouraging reports … Chien-Ming Wang was signed to a minor league deal and will report to the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa. He went 55-26 with the Yankees in five seasons and won 19 games twice. … GM Dave Dombrowski announced that IF Jeff Kobernus, a pickup from Washington in the winter meeting draft, was returned to the Nationals. Kobernus, who was trying to adjust to playing some outfield, batted .220 for the Tigers this spring training. “We tried to make a trade and couldn’t get it, done so we sent him back,” Dombrowski said.