Ichiro 3-for-3 as Yankees fall to Phillies

02/26/2013 4:15 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Ichiro Suzuki was 3-for-3 with a stolen base and a run scored in Tuesday's loss.(AP)
Ichiro Suzuki went 3-for-3 with a stolen base and catching prospect J.R. Murphy smashed his first home run of the spring, but it wasn’t enough as the Yankees fell to the Phillies, 4-3, on a wet and overcast Tuesday afternoon in Clearwater, Fla.

After two straight games where they let first-inning scoring opportunities fall by the wayside, the third time was the charm for the Yankees, who jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Mark Teixeira slugged a two-out RBI double to score Ichiro.

Strong Yankees pitching, which included the spring debuts of both David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain, held the lead until the sixth, when Kevin Frandsen hit a two-out double off Jim Miller that plated Jimmy Rollins to tie the score.

It took just a half-inning for the Yankees to answer back, as Murphy’s two-run homer made it 3-1 at the stretch, but the Phillies fired back right away themselves and roughed up youngster Zach Nuding for three runs in the bottom of the frame; Dominic Brown hit a towering solo shot to center field to start the proceedings, and after a Cody Asche double, catcher Tommy Joseph made his only at-bat count, smashing a two-out, two-run homer that gave the Phillies the 4-3 lead.

The Yankees had one last shot after Murphy’s double with two outs in the ninth, but Jeremy Horst got Cito Culver to fly out to right fielder Laynce Nix to end the game.

Offensively, the Yankees totaled 12 hits, with Ichiro and Murphy accounting for a perfect 5-for-5 afternoon combined. Teixeira, Travis Hafner, Matt Diaz, Bobby Wilson, Walter Ibarra, and Adonis Garcia were all 1-for-2, and Luke Murton singled in his only at-bat. Ibarra also made a slick fielding play in the sixth, reaching back over his head to nab a foul pop from Phillies catcher Steven Lerud.

On the mound, Jose Ramirez impressed in his first start of the spring, pitching two hitless innings and working around a leadoff walk to Ryan Howard in the second. Robertson then looked sharp in the third, allowing only a two-out walk, before Chamberlain allowed one hit and struck out a pair in the fourth. Juan Cedeno escaped the fifth unscathed after hitting leadoff hitter Brown with a pitch, and Brandon Pinder was also impressive, striking out a pair in pitching a 1-2-3 eighth.

The Yankees drop to 1-3 on the spring with the loss, and will return home on Wednesday to face the Baltimore Orioles. Left-hander Nik Turley, who was 9-5 for Class-A Tampa last season, will be on the mound for the Yankees, and coverage begins at 1 p.m. on YES.

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