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CC Sabathia clears next big hurdle toward Yankees return

CC Sabathia won’t be on the Opening Day roster, but the veteran lefty took a step Saturday toward eventually being ready to join the Yankees’ rotation during the first month of the season.

Sabathia graduated from throwing bullpen sessions to a simulated game on Field 2 next to Steinbrenner Field in front of a Blue Jays-Yankees game.

Facing DJ LeMahieu, Troy Tulowitzki and Kyle Holder, Sabathia threw 32 pitches and looked better in the second inning than the first, when LeMahieu drove a ball into the left-center field gap and Holder walked.

Sabathia required three pitches to retire LeMahieu and Holder to start the second and whiffed Tulowitzki swinging.