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Yankees, Pirates rained out in Bradenton

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

By JOHN PERROTTO

Associated Press

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) When rain caused the cancellation of the New York Yankees' game with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, Hiroki Kuroda did his throwing indoors.

Kuroda traveled back to the Yankees' spring training camp in Tampa after the exhibition game was called off following a 44-minute rain delay at the start. He was scheduled to throw a five-inning, 75-pitch simulated game in New York's indoor batting cages.

Rookie Stolmy Pimentel, who was scheduled to start for the Pirates, also threw a simulated game indoors. Pimentel is out of minor league options and is likely to begin the season as Pittsburgh's long reliever.

Yankees: Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who was scratched from Sunday's game against Atlanta because of tightness in his right calf, is expected to be ready to play later this week.

However, he won't play Tuesday when the Yankees host Boston at Tampa. Ellsbury spent the first seven years of his career with the Red Sox before signing a $153 million, seven-year contract with New York during the offseason.

Infielder Brendan Ryan, sidelined by lower back soreness for the past week, took batting practice on the field Monday.

Pirates: The team said it is "probable" that backup catcher Chris Stewart will have right knee surgery later this week when he visits Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla. Stewart has not played since being injured Wednesday against Minnesota.

Left-hander Jeff Locke (strained right oblique) had a second bullpen session Monday and reported no pain but there is no timetable for when he will pitch in a game. He has pitched just once this spring training, a two-inning stint Feb. 27 against the Yankees.

The Yankees did not arrive in Tampa until 12:30 a.m. Monday from their trip to Panama to play a two-game series against Miami Marlins in the homeland of retired closer Mariano Rivera.

Kuroda, catcher Brian McCann, first baseman Mark Teixeira and second baseman Brian Roberts were the only regulars to make the 45-mile trip to Bradenton.

The Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to next pitch on Saturday. However, Girardi is not yet sure whether the Japanese rookie right-hander will travel to Fort Myers to face Minnesota or remain in Tampa and pitch in a minor league exhibition game.

Tanaka has allowed two runs in 9 1-3 innings for a 1.93 ERA.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin addressed the Pirates before the washout. Joining Tomlin on the field to watch batting practice were Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Pirates outfielder Travis Snider offered his services to the Steelers' brain trust as a fullback.

"I told them to call my agent because they need me to block for Le'Veon Bell," Snider cracked.

Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole and left-handed reliever Tony Watson both pitched in a minor league intrasquad game on Monday morning before the rain.

Cole allowed three runs and five hits in five innings while walking four and striking out four. Watson gave up one unearned run in three innings.

Michael Pineda is to start Tuesday for the Yankees against Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront. The Pirates are off Tuesday then visit the Red Sox on Wednesday night at Fort Myers, with lefty Wandy Rodriguez facing Jake Peavy.

Updated March 17, 2014

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