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Hiroki Kuroda makes spring debut in Yankees' loss

03/01/2013 4:13 PM ET
By Jon Lane

Hiroki Kuroda won 16 games during his first season in the AL and with the Yankees.(AP)
Friday afternoon marked the Spring Training debut of Hiroki Kuroda, but the veteran New York Yankees right-hander was victimized by his defense in an eventual 10-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees defense was charged with four errors - Steven Lerud was generously granted a base hit on a grounder that Eduardo Nunez failed to corral - as the team dropped to 1-7 on the Grapefruit season.

Kuroda allowed the Phillies' first three runners to reach base -- Kyle Roller's fielding error of Chase Utley's bouncer to first allowed Jimmy Rollins to score the game's first run - but Kuroda responded by getting Ryan Howard to ground into a double play and striking out Michael Young.

Kuroda retired his first two batters of the second, but Phillies runners reached on an error and a hit in to open the door for Rolllins' two-run double that pushed Philadelphia's lead to 4-0. On the day, Kuroda gave up four runs, but one earned, on three hits in 1 2/3 innings pitched.

In addition to Kuroda, David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain each got in some work. Robertson ended the Phillies; threat in the second when he struck out Ben Revere. Chamberlain, however, allowed a two-run, two-out single to John Mayberry after retiring the first two Phillies batters.

Friday also marked the return of Kevin Youkilis to the Yankees lineup after sitting the last five days with a sore oblique. Batting cleanup, Youkilis finished 0-for-1 in two plate appearances, drawing a two-out walk off Roy Halladay in his first at-bat, but committing a two-out error in the second that allowed Mayberry to reach base. Youkilis, though, came back in the third with a diving stop to take away a base hit from Howard.

Francisco Cervelli, who threw out two would-be base stealers on Thursday, continued to make his case to break camp as the Yankees' starting catcher. He hustled to first for an infield hit in his opening at-bat, laced a double to right center with one out in the third and threw out another swiper to complete a double play that ended the top of the fourth.

The Yankees offense broke through in the third, starting with Cervelli's double that chased Halladay, when World Baseball Classic-bound Robinson Cano singled home New York's first run. Addison Maruszak's booming double to left plated two more runs in the fifth off Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. In addition, two  Yankees prospects with an opportunity to stake their claim for a Major League roster spot went yard, Ronnier Mustelier in the sixth and Melky Mesa in the seventh.

The Yankees are back in action, and back on YES, on Saturday when they host the Detroit Tigers at 1 p.m. at Steinbrenner Field.

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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