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Blanton Sharp In Phillies Loss To Yankees

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Curtis Granderson hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning and the New York Yankees never lost their lead in a 7-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.

After Phillies starter Joe Blanton threw three hitless innings, minor league right-hander Justin De Fratus entered and walked Brett Gardner. One out later, Granderson drilled a two-run home run to left.

Jorge Vazquez also hit his second home run in as many games. He led off the ninth inning by taking a 1-2 pitch out to left.

But on an afternoon when several stars were out of both lineups, the All-Star-studded Yankees infield didn’t make the trip and Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley nursed a right knee injury, players competing for jobs made strides on both teams.

Yankees starter Ivan Nova struck out two over two perfect innings.

Nova is competing with Freddy Garcia, Sergio Mitre and Bartolo Colon for one of the final two rotations spots behind CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett.

“I’m just paying attention to what I’m doing,” Nova said. “That’s what I’m worrying about. I know there are good guys, veteran guys. I don’t worry about it. I worry about myself.”

Nova, considered one of the frontrunners, threw 21 pitches, 14 for strikes. He struck out Ryan Howard with a curveball.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)