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Claiborne impressive in first relief outings

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DENVER -- Reliever Preston Claiborne pitched three perfect innings in his first three Major League appearances, including Wednesday night, when he pitched the seventh in a game tied at 2. He ended the inning by striking out Todd Helton for his first Major League strikeout.

"He's been in some tough situations," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's not like we put him in when we're down six runs to just go out and get some work. He's done a really good job. And sometimes pitchers can be intimidated pitching here [at Coors Field], too. You hear a lot of things -- the breaking balls don't break the same. But I've been really impressed with what he's doing."

Claiborne gave up three singles, but induced a double play,  in the seventh inning before being pulled in Thursday's 3-1 victory over the Rockies

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