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Jose Ramirez hit hard in Yankees' loss to Blue Jays

03/14/2013 4:31 PM ET
By Jon Lane

It was a rough day in Dunedin, Fla., for Jose Ramirez and the Yankees.(AP)
Jose Ramirez entered his start on Wednesday in Dunedin, Fla., against the Toronto Blue Jays having pitched nine scoreless Spring Training innings with just one walk. A New York Yankees prospect who hasn't pitched about Class-A impressed Mariano Rivera with his poise and command, and prior to the bus trip found himself on manager Joe Girardi's radar.

"I hadn't heard a whole lot about him," Girardi said Wednesday morning. "I heard he had a good arm. I've been pleasantly surprised by what I've seen. I go back to that first day he threw live BP and the amount of strikes he threw. I was like, 'Wow, look at this.' He threw more strikes than anybody. That really caught my eye and I saw the swings the hitters were taking, and they were late. … Interesting."

Ramirez continued to grab Girardi's attention, except this time it was on an off day. The Blue Jays scored six runs and drew four walks in 1/3 of an inning off the right-hander en route to a 17-5 victory.

After Kevin Youkilis put the Yankees on the board with his second home run of the spring in the top of the first off Blue Jays starter Josh Johnson, Ramirez got into immediate trouble when he walked the first two Blue Jays batters to set up former Yankee Melky Cabrera's RBI double. A wild pitch allowed Colby Rasmus to score and give the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead. Ramirez - eight of his first 10 pitches were balls -- walked another batter to put runners on the corners with one out and prompt Girardi to get Adam Warren warming up in the bullpen.

By the time Ramirez exited, he had thrown just three strikes to seven batters. Warren came in and walked Henry Blanco on four pitches to plate the Jays' fourth run and took the bulk of the punishment in the Blue Jays' six-run second inning that sent 10 men to the plate. Maicer Izturis' two-run single pushed Toronto's lead to 14-1 and Warren was yanked after a two-out walk to Rasmus. Brandon Pinder allowed a Cabrera single - his third hit in two innings - for the Jays' 15th run.

The Blue Jays' onslaught continued in the third with Mark DeRosa's solo home run off Pinder. Toronto threatened again when Yankees errors - the first when Corban Joseph called off Youkilis and dropped a pop fly ball - put runners on first and second, but were held to only the one run.

Yankees pitching walked 10 batters and allowed 13 hits. Cabrera finished with three hits, two for doubles, in three at-bats with four RBIs. Izturis drove in five runs from atop Toronto's lineup.

Doubles from Jayson Nix and Joseph in the fourth added two Yankees runs. Youkilis tripled in the fifth and scored on Travis Hafner's sacrifice fly. New York added one more in the eighth with Jose Pirela's ground-rule double.

The Yankees are back at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Friday for a matinee against the Miami Marlins. The YES Network will be on the air with the game at 1 p.m.

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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