It wasn't quite a celestial spectacle, but a Nova shined fairly bright against Jupiter on Monday.
Making his first rehab start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014, Ivan Nova pitched 4 2/3 innings against Miami affiliate Jupiter, striking out three, walking none - and coming through the appearance healthy.
Tampa Yankees play-by-play broadcaster Nick Flammia tweeted that Nova's fastball reached 94 mph in the first inning. (For his career, Nova averages 92.7 mph on his fastball, according to pitch f/x).
Nova struck out the first batter he faced and didn't permit a hit until Justin Bohn singled with two outs in the second. Nova struck out Yuniel Ramirez swinging to end the inning.
The Yankees righthander likely could have gone deeper into the game but for a series of miscues.
With one out in the third, back-to-back hitters reached on errors. Nova got Avery Romero to ground into a force out, putting runners at the corners with two outs, but shortstop Gregorio Petit botched a ball off the bat of Austin Dean, allowing a run to score. It was the second error of the inning for Petit, who also was playing in his first rehab game since suffering a hand injury in early May. Nova got Felix Munoz to ground out, ending the inning, and then pitched a perfect fourth inning.
Harold Riggins singled to lead off the fifth against Nova, wholater committed a throwing error trying to pick off Riggins. Nova appeared to recover quickly, getting Chris Hoo to ground out before Yefri Perez lined out to short. But a two-out single scored Riggins from second base and ended Nova's night.
Nova's final line: two runs (one earned), three hits, no walks, three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.
Righthanded reliever Cale Coshow replaced Nova and got the final out of the inning, but Coshow ended up as the losing pitcher after he allowed the go-ahead run on a home run in the seventh inning of Jupiter's 3-2 win.
Centerfielder Michael O'Neill, the nephew of ex-Yankees rightfielder Paul O'Neill, was 2-for-4 with a double for Tampa (29-28, 2nd place in Florida State League North, 4 games back).