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Hiroki Kuroda joins Yankees' injury list in loss to Orioles

Hiroki Kuroda exits with an injury during the

Hiroki Kuroda exits with an injury during the third inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles. (May 22, 2013) Credit: AP

BALTIMORE -- As the Yankees' disabled list gets longer, it's become a topic to discuss whom the team can least afford to lose.

Among the most frequently mentioned went down Wednesday night, though it seems the Yankees, already with 11 players on the DL, dodged a bullet.

With two on and none out in the third inning of what would be a 6-3 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards, Hiroki Kuroda left the game with a bruised right calf. The injury occurred in the second inning when he took a comebacker there from the bat of Manny Machado.

Still, Joe Girardi said afterward: "I would be shocked if he didn't .''

The 38-year-old Kuroda, far and away the Yankees' best starter this season, entered 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA. He also said he planned on taking his next turn. "It will depend on how I feel tomorrow,'' Kuroda said, "but for me, I'm going to make that start.''

He departed after allowing a leadoff double to Adam Jones and a single to Chris Davis.

After the single by Davis, whose two-run homer highlighted a three-run first, Kuroda winced, bringing Girardi and the Yankees' training staff to the mound for the second time. Kuroda looked as if he was trying to loosen his back, but that was not the case.

"No issues with my back,'' he said, which would have been a far bigger concern.

It didn't take long for Girardi to signal to the bullpen.

"When he said he couldn't push off like he normally does, that's a concern of mine,'' Girardi said, adding there were no tests planned for the foot.

Rookie Preston Claiborne, who had not allowed a run in seven previous appearances, gave up a three-run homer to Matt Wieters that made it 6-1.

The injury overshadowed what the Yankees (28-18) hope was a breakout performance by Curtis Granderson. He struggled in his first six games since coming off the disabled list, but was a triple shy of the cycle after his first three at-bats Wednesday night.

Granderson returned May 14 after suffering a broken right forearm Feb. 24. He came into the game hitless in his last 12 at-bats, batting .174 with a .208 OBP in his six previous games.

"It's a result-oriented game, so you always want to see that,'' Granderson said. "At the same time, the feel is the most important thing, so that's what I'm still working on right now.''

Girardi is overloaded with outfielders, rotating starts among Ichiro Suzuki, Vernon Wells and Brett Gardner, who had the night off. Girardi said before the game that the four-man rotation won't last.

"I think at some point you'll get to where you're trying to put about the same lineup out there every day,'' he said.

The outfielders had the most success against Jason Hammel, who came in 5-2 but with a 5.72 ERA. Ichiro and Wells each had a hit to go with Granderson's three. Hammel allowed two runs and six hits in 62/3 innings.

Robinson Cano had an RBI single, and the Yankees' other run came on rookie David Adams' homer off Darren O'Day in the ninth.

Kuroda struggled before his injury, laboring through a 23-pitch first inning in which the Orioles took a 3-0 lead. Kuroda retired his first two hitters, but Nick Markakis took a 1-and-1 pitch out to center for his fourth homer.

Jones singled to center and Davis, showing little signs of slowing down after being AL Player of the month for April, smacked his league-leading 14th homer to center, making it 3-0.

It was a rough outing but one that could have been far worse.

"It didn't hit my bone area," Kuroda said. "So in that sense, it was good.''

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