BALTIMORE -- The Yankees dropped two of three to the Baltimore Orioles, but there actually were a lot of positives that came out of Wednesday's 6-3 loss.
1. HIROKI A-OK: The Yankees have suffered a number of injuries all season, but the most costly ones would occur to their top pitching. If CC Sabathia, Mariano Rivera or Hiroki Kuroda were ever to miss a substantial amount of time, the Yankees might not be able to overcome it.
Before his rough night Wednesday, Kuroda had simply been the Yankees' best starter thus far this season. Again, forgetting Wednesday for a moment, you could make a pretty strong argument that Kuroda should be the Yankees' Game 1 playoff starter.
Joe Girardi and Kuroda both think he will make his next start Tuesday against Matt Harvey at Citi Field. After he took a liner off his right leg from Manny Machado, that was the best the Yankees could hope for.
2. GRAND NIGHT: Curtis Granderson missed the cycle by only a triple. That is pretty significant because before Wednesday, he had yet to have an extra-base hit in his previous six games. Granderson seems to be finding his swing.
Girardi basically said Wednesday that tryouts have begun for the outfield spots. Girardi said eventually he will pretty much trot out the same three outfielders every day. Ichiro Suzuki would figure to be the odd man out. Ichiro did have a hit Wednesday, but Brett Gardner is younger and better in 2013, while Vernon Wells has been one of the more important Yankees.
3. TAR HEELS: What former North Carolina standout has the best ERA in New York? Nope, it is not Matt Harvey. Adam Warren, who was a Tar Heels teammate of Harvey, dropped his ERA to 1.14 in 23 2/3 innings, which is superior to Harvey's 1.99.
4. FIRST PLACE: Even after losing two of three, the Yankees are in first place in the American League East. They are a half-game up on the Red Sox. From first to fourth, only four games separate the teams.