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03/06/12 7:24 PM EST

CC on track after first spring start

BRADENTON, Fla. -- CC Sabathia hit all of the necessary checkpoints in a first tune-up for his fourth Opening Day start with the Yankees, completing two innings in a 7-4 Grapefruit League loss to the Pirates on Tuesday.

"I'm just making sure I'm consistent with my delivery and being able to throw all my off-speed pitches for strikes," Sabathia said. "This spring, that's really big for me. I threw some good cutters today, I threw a good changeup. I'll just keep working."

Sabathia allowed a first-inning run on Andrew McCutchen's RBI single among three hits, walking none and striking out one.

"He got his two innings, [so we'll] just keep building him up," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We'll keep building up the arm strength for all these guys. That's the important thing, making sure they don't have setbacks and they can go every fifth day. That's the important thing for me."

Sabathia said that it was something of an adjustment getting back facing live hitters in a game situation for the first time this year.

"It's just one of those things," Sabathia said. "I don't think you ever get used to it. The batting practices with the cage around and all those things, it's not really the same as getting out here and facing guys on different teams."

Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli said that Sabathia's outing went exactly as expected.

"CC was good," Cervelli said. "He was working on his pitches, the fastball location. He's going to get better and better near the middle of Spring Training and the end. He's the same all the time. He's got to find the rhythm and the mechanics."

Tex on thumb: 'Nothing to worry about'

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said he jammed his left thumb on a play in the field that could have been much worse.

Teixeira swiped to tag the Pirates' Nick Evans after rescuing an errant Robinson Cano throw in the fourth inning, with Brett Marshall pitching. Teixeira applied the tag on Evans, but the ball popped loose and rolled down the first-base line for an error.

"I didn't know where he was so, when I tagged him, I hit him too hard," Teixeira said. "I usually just try to barely touch them, but I hit him too hard and that's what jammed my thumb a little bit."

Teixeira said that it "stung a little bit" and said that it is "nothing to worry about," as he stayed in the game and batted. Yankees manager Joe Girardi admitted concern when he saw Teixeira take his glove off in the field.

"It did make me cringe," said Girardi, who was not expecting to play Teixeira on Wednesday against the Rays even before the jammed thumb.

Bombers bits

• Yankees captain Derek Jeter was brushed by a Chris Resop pickoff throw as he dove back into second base, but laughed to a crowd of reporters around his locker that the ball "barely hit me."

• Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, whose Spring Trainings have been snake-bitten in recent years, turned 26 on Tuesday and narrowly avoided yet another injury. Cervelli was hit on his right hand by a batter's backswing but said, "Thank God it was nothing serious."

• Yankees shortstop Eduardo Nunez (right hand bruise) is expected to be in Wednesday's lineup, Girardi said. Nunez was hit by a pitch in Monday's exhibition loss to the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.