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Kuroda goes six as Yankees split squad succumbs to Phillies, 7-0

03/16/2013 4:20 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Brennan Boesch went 0-for-3 in his debut Saturday in the Yankees' 7-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.(AP)
TAMPA - Hiroki Kuroda pitched well in his third official Grapefruit League start, but some defensive miscues by the Yankees and a couple of long balls allowed the Phillies to cash in big en route to a 7-0 win over the Bomber at Steinbrenner Field Saturday.

Kuroda allowed four runs on six hits in six innings of work, but only two of them were earned; those came courtesy of a Dominic Brown three-run home run, a fourth-inning blast that came one batter after second baseman Gil Velazquez couldn't handle what could have been an inning-ending double play ball.

The Phillies would get one more unearned run that inning when Jermaine Mitchell's two-out triple was followed by an RBI single by Yuniesky Betancourt, and they got three more in the ninth off Shawn Kelley thanks to Steven Lerud's two-run homer and Pete Orr's RBI triple.

The Yankees bats, meanwhile, were fairly quiet, and a couple of baserunning errors kept the Yankees off the scoreboard in the first. Derek Jeter led off with a double, but broke for third on Ichiro's grounder to shortstop, getting thrown out in the process; one batter later, Ichiro was caught too far off first on Kevin Youkilis's lineout, allowing the Phillies to turn an inning-ending 5-3 double play. They'd have another golden opportunity in the third, but couldn't capitalize on a first-and-third, one out situation when Jeter struck out and Ichiro grounded out.

The Yankees then had one last rally in them in the ninth, as Luke Murton singled with one out and Eduardo Sosa and Ramon Flores drew a pair of two-out walks, but Reegie Corona popped out to second baseman Orr to end the game.

In the end, the Yankees had tallied seven hits, with infielder Walter Ibarra going 2-for-2 to be the offensive star. Brennan Boesch went 0-for-3 in his first game as a Yankee, Brett Gardner was 1-for-2 as the center fielder, and Kevin Youkilis also had a double.

On the mound, the Yankees did get strong performances from Mariano Rivera and David Aardsma, both of whom worked around some potential trouble with a little help from solid defense; Rivera walked Steven Lerud and went to a three-ball count on Ben Revere before inducing a nicely-turned double play, while Aardsma got the benefit of a great Chris Stewart throw to catch pinch-runner Ender Inciarte trying to steal second in the eighth.

With the loss, the Yankees drop to 8-13 on the spring, but have two more chances this weekend to tally one on the left side; a split squad is in Lake Buena Vista to battle the Braves later Saturday, and on Sunday, they will travel to Bradenton for a St. Patrick's Day matinee against the Pirates.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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