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ALCS Gm2: Kuroda fans 11 in strong Game 2 start

If Hiroki Kuroda is looking to pick up on Wednesday where he left off when last season ended, his opponent will be aiming for just the opposite.

The New York right-hander -- who set career highs in wins, starts, innings and strikeouts in 2012, his first year in pinstripes -- will be up against Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox at 7:05 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium.

Buchholz's struggles were, in a sense, a microcosm of Boston's problems all season long. The right-hander posted an 8.69 ERA in his five April starts last year, as the Red Sox spiraled toward a last-place finish in the American League East. He was no better against the rival Yankees, going 0-2 with a 15.26 ERA against them on the year.

New Red Sox manager John Farrell hopes that Buchholz -- after both clubs enjoy Tuesday's off-day -- can revert back to the sterling form he showed in 2010.

"The one thing that was evident early on -- he came in without any physical issues to hold him back," Farrell said. "I thought he was better overall with particularly his fastball location, [using the] bottom of the strike zone, and if that holds true to form going forward, he should be a very good and certainly a very strong starting pitcher for us. What that means in innings, wins, losses -- time will tell. But he's in a good place right now to start the season."

The Red Sox have started the 2013 season in better fashion -- considering Monday's 8-2 win -- than last year, when they lost their first three games and five of their first six.

Kuroda, meanwhile, was steady as can be in Grapefruit League play, posting a 1.53 ERA and 15 strikeouts across 17 2/3 innings (four starts). Last season, he tossed three complete games, including two shutouts.

"Our belief is to go out and win every day," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Red Sox: Bradley Jr. impresses in debut
• Jackie Bradley Jr. -- Boston's No. 2 prospect, according to -- made an strong impression on Monday in his first career big league game.

Bradley went 0-for-2 with three walks and a run scored, and he hustled to beat out a throw to second base during a four-run top of the second.

• Making their Red Sox debuts, Jonny Gomes went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored, Mike Napoli went 0-for-5 and Shane Victorino went 2-for-6 with three RBIs.

Yankees: First look at newcomers
• A handful of new Yankees played in Monday's loss, including Kevin Youkilis, who won two World Series with the Red Sox (2004 and '07) and went 1-for-4 with a run scored.

Vernon Wells went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, Ben Francisco went 0-for-1 with a walk, Travis Hafner went 1-for-2 and Lyle Overbay went 0-for-2.

• New York won 13 of the 18 meetings between the two teams last season.

Worth noting
• In his first appearance with the Red Sox, reliever Koji Uehara needed just five pitches to retire the side in the sixth on Monday.

• Yankees right-hander David Phelps is scheduled to start on Saturday, and he pitched an inning of relief on Monday. The versatile hurler is still lined up for his regular start if the Yankees decide to use him out of the rotation. He threw 33 pitches Monday, walking two and allowing one run in 1 1/3 innings. Comments