Joba strong in Yankees win

March 20, 2008 4:52:31 PM PDT
Joba Chamberlain was told Wednesday he would start the season in the bullpen. One day later the right-hander showed why he was dominant as a rookie setup man last season.Chamberlain struck out all three batters he faced in the seventh inning of the New York Yankees' 7-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.

"It felt great," said Chamberlain, who threw nine of 11 pitches for strikes. "Just getting going, it's like riding a bike. It didn't take me very long to get going. My arm actually warmed up quicker than I thought it would. My arm reacted really well."

Chamberlain went 2-0 with an 0.38 ERA in 19 games last year. The 22-year old had been working in a starter's role this spring, which is what the Yankees have said he will become in the future.

"He has a great arm," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He was great today."

Yankees starter Ian Kennedy allowed one run and six hits over 4 1-3 innings. He struck out four.

"Today's the sharpest he's been," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "That's a good sign for us."

Wilson Betemit hit a two-run homer for the Yankees. Shelley Duncan drove in two with a double.

Toronto closer B.J. Ryan will not pitch in games for a few days due to discomfort in his surgically-repaired left elbow.

"Hopefully it's just a little tightness in there and we can get it calmed down," Ryan said.

The Blue Jays don't consider it a setback.

"He is throwing every day and we are monitoring him," Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. "We need to have B.J. for the whole year, not half a year, so we are treating it with kid gloves."

Toronto right-hander Kane Davis gave up four runs and five hits in three innings. He got the start because Blue Jays' opening day starter Roy Halladay pitched in a minor league game.

Halladay allowed four hits over six scoreless innings in a Triple-A contest.

"His cutter is getting better and better," Toronto pitching coach Brad Arnsberg said.

Aaron Hill had an RBI double for the Blue Jays.


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