TAMPA, Fla. – The New York Yankees got good news about two injured outfielders.
Curtis Granderson went 1 for 4 after missing two games because of right elbow soreness but the Yankees lost 4-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.
"Curtis was great," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Granderson, the designated hitter, singled in the third. The center fielder could play defense on Friday night.
"I hope so," Granderson said. "Everything is good."
New York right fielder Nick Swisher, out with a groin injury, hit in a minor league game for the second straight day. It hasn't been decided if Swisher will play another game in the minors or rejoin the Yankees on Friday.
"We'll see where he's at," Girardi said.
Rotation candidate Ivan Nova pitched in a Triple-A game instead of facing the Orioles, giving up three runs and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings. The Yankees play their second series of the regular season at Baltimore.
"He looked pretty good," Girardi said of Nova, a 16-game winner last season. "I think you have to look at everything, but you also have to look at his body of work from last year, too."
Orioles starter Jason Hammel went 5 1-3 innings, allowing two runs and five hits. Matt Wieters had a double and triple in three at-bats, and is 10 for his last 13.
"Pretty much everything I was working on I'm happy with," Hammel said. "The results were good. Real good execution."
Baltimore infielder J.J. Hardy, sidelined by a right shoulder injury, is expected to return Friday.
"Looks like it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I made the lineup (for Friday) and he's in it."
New York closer Mariano Rivera gave up his second hit this spring during a scoreless sixth. The right-hander has not allowed a run in seven innings overall, and also extended his streak of not allowing an earned run in spring training — dating back to 2008 — to 28 consecutive innings.
Raul Ibanez hit a long solo homer off Hammel and added an RBI single.
"Worked on getting the two-seamer in action, and except for one that probably went 900 feet, I was real happy with it," Hammel said.
New York has four pitchers, Nova, Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia and Michael Pineda competing for three starting slots behind opening-day starter CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda.
"We're just not quite there yet," Girardi said. "Yankeeland, it's wins. We've got to do what's best for this year."
Hughes is considered a frontrunner for one spot. Garcia will pitch in the minors Friday, while Pineda goes against Philadelphia in the big league game.
"I think these starts at the end are a lot more important than the one's at the beginning," Girardi said.
Girardi said the pitcher that loses out is not guarantee a spot in the bullpen.
Andy Pettitte, who ended a brief retirement after agreeing to a minor league contract on March 16, had a bullpen session and might pitch in a spring training game next week.
"I've been happy with what I've seen," Girardi said.
Before the game Baltimore announced that left-hander Dana Eveland, who had been bidding for a starting role, had been designated for assignment.
"It just didn't look he was going to make our club out of spring (training)," Showalter said.
The Orioles claimed infielder Zelous Wheeler off waivers from Milwaukee.
NOTES: Baltimore OF Endy Chavez (groin) remains day to day. . ... New York reliever Rafael Soriano allowed one run and two hits over one inning in a Double-A game. He threw 23 pitches, including 12 to a batter that tripled. ... The Yankees signed INF/OF Steve Pearce to a minor league contract. He played for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Thursday.