Yankees take a pounding from Blue Jays

Yankees' Kevin Youkilis reacts after striking out looking Yankees' Kevin Youkilis reacts after striking out looking with two runners on base in the third inning. (March 14, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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DUNEDIN, Fla. -- If the phrase "it's only spring training" ever was embraced, it was Thursday.

The Yankees allowed nine runs in the first inning and six more in the second in a 17-5 loss to the Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

In the first two innings, Toronto runners found the plate with far more frequency than Yankees pitchers.

Jose Ramirez, who impressed the Yankees and opposing scouts in his first four appearances, recorded only one out and was pulled after allowing six runs, two hits and four walks. His replacement, Adam Warren, allowed eight runs, four hits and five walks in 11/3 innings.

"Tough game to watch," said Joe Girardi, whose team walked 10 and committed three errors.

The first three innings, after which the Jays led 16-1, took nearly two hours to complete. Kevin Youkilis homered and tripled, but after his first-inning blast, Toronto scored 16 unanswered runs.

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"Youk swung the bat pretty well," Girardi said of taking a positive from the day. "But there weren't a lot of great things to watch today."

Dead heat behind plateGirardi said the Chris Stewart/Francisco Cervelli catcher's battle has gone about as expected, meaning too close to call. He also said how games get split up between the two might not be decided until the regular season.

"It might take some time to sort that out during the season as opposed to trying to sort it out during spring training," Girardi said.

Girardi left open the possibility of coming pretty close to evenly splitting the games by assigning certain pitchers to a catcher. "You can do it that way, keep them fresh and they know when they're playing," he said. "I'm not really married to anything. Kind of let it sort its way out."Extra bases

Phil Hughes will throw Monday at the team's minor-league complex and Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera also are likely to pitch there . . . NHL coaching icon Scotty Bowman, a rabid baseball fan who lives in Sarasota, attended the game.

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