WASHINGTON — Andy Pettitte ducked to avoid a twirling piece of broken bat during his six-inning stint, Kevin Youkilis hit his sixth homer of spring training and the New York Yankees wrapped up their major league exhibition schedule by beating the Washington Nationals 4-2 Friday.
Pettitte put his left hand on his cap as he kneeled to avoid the jagged bat when Wilson Ramos grounded out in the third inning. The lefty wasn’t shaken, and allowed two runs — one earned — and five hits. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter while throwing 81 pitches, 57 for strikes.
Washington’s unearned run came in the fourth after third baseman Youkilis’ throwing error.
New York scored four runs in the top of that inning off Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann.
The highlights were Youkilis’ leadoff drive into the visiting bullpen and Eduardo Nunez’s two-run single. Zimmermann lasted 3 1-3 innings, allowing four runs and seven hits.
A crowd of 38,161 welcomed the reigning NL East champion Nationals back from their Grapefruit League stint at Viera, Fla.
It was Washington’s first game at Nationals Park since the club blew a ninth-inning lead in the division series finale against St. Louis. The pitcher who let Game 5 get away, Drew Storen, was greeted with applause and cheers when he came on for the ninth Friday.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera then finished the game with a 1-2-3 ninth. A few hours earlier, before the first pitch, the 43-year-old Rivera was honored by the Nationals.
The career saves leader announced three weeks ago that he will retire after this season. He was presented Friday with a signed No. 42 — his number — Nationals jersey by Washington reliever Rafael Soriano, who took over as New York’s closer last year when Rivera got injured.
The Nationals are done with exhibition games with a 14-18-2 record and get to prepare for their opener on Monday, at home against the Miami Marlins. Stephen Strasburg will start for Washington.
The Yankees, 14-18-1 during a spring training that included injuries to sluggers Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira, will face Army at West Point on Saturday, then open up at home against the Boston Red Sox on Monday.
Mets 7, Cardinals 2
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — David Wright made his first appearance in a big league game since sustaining a rib injury during the World Baseball Classic, going 0 for 3 and playing five innings for the New York Mets in a victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I’ve said all along I’d be ready,” Wright said of opening day. “Of course, I would have liked to have gotten a few more at-bats, but I don’t have that luxury right now, so I’ll make the most out of what I can tomorrow and I’ll be ready to go. I feel pretty good considering the circumstances.”
Wright was a late scratch from the United States’ game against the Dominican Republic on march 14. He received a cortisone shot in his left side a day later.
Mets manager Terry Collins said Wright returning to the lineup was important for the team.
“He’s a big piece of our lineup, if not the biggest piece of our lineup,” Collins said. “To get him out there changes the whole look of the team. It changes the look of the lineup, and we don’t have to ask some guys to pick up a big load because he’ll do that.”
Ruben Tejada hit a two-run double and scored on Collin Cowgill’s two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth. Cowgill was pinch hitting for Matt Harvey, who gave up three hits in four shutout innings with two walks and four strikeouts.
Cardinals pitcher Jake Westbrook allowed four runs on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts in four innings. Center fielder Jon Jay went 2 for 2.
Tigers 8, Rays 3
LAKELAND, Fla. — Hours after rotation-mate Justin Verlander got the biggest contract ever given to a pitcher, Max Scherzer extended his dominant spring training with six innings of one-hit ball as the Detroit Tigers beat the Tampa Bay Rays.
Verlander agreed to a $180 million, seven-year contract, topping Felix Hernandez for the richest deal for a pitcher in baseball history.
Scherzer, the Tigers’ No. 5 starter, finishes the spring with a 0.57 ERA. He struck out nine and has only allowed one earned run over 25 1-3 innings.
Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson allowed eight runs — six earned — in three innings. He yielded homers to Prince Fielder, Alex Avila and Omar Infante.
Miguel Cabrera had two doubles for the Tigers and Austin Jackson tripled.
Sam Fuld homered off Octavio Dotel for the Rays.
Twins 8, Red Sox 3
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Minnesota’s Cole DeVries came out after three hitless innings due to a sore right forearm as the Twins beat the Boston Red Sox.
DeVries, scheduled to make his first start of the season on April 6 at Baltimore, allowed one earned run during 17 innings in spring training and held batters to a .071 average.
Pitching coach Rick Anderson said it appeared the soreness was a muscle issue.
Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster gave up three hits and four walks in four innings with four strikeouts.
Royals 5, Indians 1
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Alex Gordon, Jeff Francoeur, Elliot Johnson and Roman Hernandez homered as the Kansas City Royals beat Cleveland to wrap up the most successful spring training in franchise history.
The Royals finished 25-7-2, the best exhibition record in the majors.
Gordon hit Ubaldo Jimenez’s second pitch over the center-field fence for his eighth home run. Gordon finished with a .438 batting average.
Francoeur and Johnson homered in the fifth off Jimenez. The Indians’ right-hander gave up just three hits, but all were home runs.