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Sunday, March 9, 2014
Notes: Jeter brings up A-Rod's name

By Andrew Marchand

TAMPA, Fla. -- When the New York Yankees shifted against lefties on Sunday against the Rays, Derek Jeter stayed on the shortstop side of second. Third baseman Yangervis Solarte moved to the right side.

In years past, Jeter, deferring to Alex Rodriguez's needs, would go to the opposite side of the infield.

"It feels worse for me if I'm on the other side of second," Jeter said. "It is like looking in the mirror backwards. That's why we are doing it. Alex didn't like it either, so I was forced to do it in the past. The guys that are playing third now have played second as well."

Jeter went 0-for-3 but did hit one line scorcher to first. He is batting .235 in 17 at-bats.

Jeter mentioned A-Rod's name at his news conference, but other than that, players have not brought up the suspended Rodriguez's name.

Notes: David Phelps helped his fifth-starter hopes by throwing five scoreless innings. ... Dellin Betances, competing for a bullpen job, threw a scoreless inning. Betances gave up a double but ended the inning by using six slurves -- his version of a curveball and slider -- to get out of the jam. He finished off the inning by retiring Wil Myers.

"I was like, 'Damn, I threw six straight breaking pitches,'" Betances said.

Betances has thrown a team-best 6 1/3 scoreless innings.

Kelly Johnson got nailed in the back by a fastball. He was fine. Johnson, who is the starting third baseman and the backup for nearly everywhere else, played first on Sunday without any incidents. ... Jose Ramirez, who had a chance to make the team as a reliever, has been optioned to Triple-A. He has an oblique injury. Lefty Francisco Rondon was sent to the minors, as well. ...

The Yankees have a full off day on Monday before going to Viera on Tuesday to face the Nationals. CC Sabathia will start. Masahiro Tanaka will throw a simulated game Tuesday in Tampa.