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Kawakami gets 2nd scoreless outing of the spring in Braves 3-2 win
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KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Johnny Damon isn't ready to give away his leadoff spot just yet.

Not long after laughing off Alex Rodriguez's latest comments, Damon zipped around the bases on an RBI triple to deep right-center in the New York Yankees' 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Damon said he took no offense to Rodriguez's statement Tuesday that he wished Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was the Yankees' leadoff hitter. Rodriguez and Reyes are teammates on the Dominican Republic's team in the World Baseball Classic.

"There probably are 25 other teams who would want him to be their leadoff hitter, too," said Damon, who also walked against Atlanta. "I'm not too concerned about that. He's going to be good for a very long time. Maybe I've got to prove to Alex what I can do this spring."

Damon, who had struggled this spring before Wednesday, was thrilled to be playing at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, where the Braves train. It's just 15 minutes from where his family lives most of the year, and close to where he grew up.

Damon has been commuting back and forth from his home to Tampa, where the Yankees train. Many mornings, he takes his kids to school before driving to Tampa.

"It's great playing here," he said. "This is one reason why I signed with the Yankees. I can take the kids to school and stay at my home in the spring. I wish we played more games here. I grew up going to Disney."

Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami had his second scoreless outing of the spring, going three innings without allowing a hit. He walked three, but has yielded just one hit in five exhibition innings.

"He had a great day," said Atlanta manager Bobby Cox, counting on Kawakami to be a big part of his rebuilt pitching staff.

Yankees starter Ian Kennedy recovered from a rocky start, lasting three innings while allowing two runs and three hits. Both runs and two of the hits came in the first inning.

"It was a little frustrating because I thought things were getting better, and I took a step backward," Kennedy said.

In other news, the Braves were thrilled by the arrival of 305-game winner Tom Glavine. He pitched last season for Atlanta, where he started his career, but also spent much of the year on the disabled list.

Glavine had offseason surgery on his left arm to repair a torn flexor tendon. He is expected to be the Braves' fifth starter this season, tentatively scheduled to make his first regular-season start on April 18.

He reported late while continuing his rehabilitation at home. He expects to start throwing batting practice Thursday and wants to see some game action by the end of next week. He also said he likely would start the season on the disabled list.

"My arm isn't all the way there yet," Glavine said. "But I feel pretty good. There is a little cranky stage with my arm, but all in all I'm happy where I am."

Glavine has won 244 games for the Braves, returning home last year after five seasons with the New York Mets. He was put on the disabled list for the first time in his career in 2008 and had three stints on the DL. Although his surgery was deemed a success, he has some concerns about how his arm will react.

"I don't know that you can't have that concern, regardless how successful your surgery was," Glavine said. "It's always in the back of your mind that you had surgery. And you wonder if it will be the same."

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