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Rivera Throws in Minor League Game

March 31, 2005

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera allowed two runs, both on homers, over 1 2-3 innings in a minor league game Thursday.

Rivera gave up a leadoff homer on the first pitch to injured Philadelphia outfielder Marlon Byrd in the first inning of a Triple-A game between Columbus and Scranton. Byrd dislocated his right ring finger on March 20. Phillies minor leaguer Nate Grindell hit a solo shot in the second.

``I feel very good. ... I’m ready to go,″ Rivera said. ``I’m right there where I want to be.″

Rivera allowed five hits and struck out three during the 40-pitch outing. In his final spring appearance, he pitched more than one inning for the first time.

``I haven’t thrown more than 15-17 pitches, and I wanted to do what we did today,″ Rivera said. ``I threw 40 pitches, enough to get the arm loose and get ready for the season.″

Rivera pitched in seven major league games this spring, allowing two hits in seven scoreless innings. The right-hander missed a week with mild bursitis in his right elbow.

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