Aside from game's outcome, Claiborne's debut perfect

Aside from game's outcome, Claiborne's debut perfect

NEW YORK -- Only a Yankees win could have made Preston Claiborne's Major League debut any more perfect. Claiborne retired all six batters he faced in the team's 5-4 loss to the A's on Sunday.

 "He threw strikes, used all his pitches, used his slider, used his changeup effectively," said manager Joe Girardi. "I thought he had pretty good command of his fastball.

"He gave us two important innings that allowed us to come back and tie the score."

Claiborne, recalled on Friday after allowing four earned runs in 10 1/3 innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, says he tried to pretend he was on any old mound, not the one at Yankee Stadium.

"This was big game for me obviously, the biggest one I have pitched in my life," he said. "I was trying to keep in mind I was just playing baseball.

"It's a huge step for me, and obviously a big confidence booster. "

Jay Greenberg is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.