Phelps: The leadoff man beat me

David Phelps looked pained, but he didn't look to pass the blame.

In an abysmal 12th inning, Phelps gave up four runs and lost the game. Even though he got hurt by a catcher's interference call, he refused to use it as an alibi.

"I've got to get the leadoff hitters out," Phelps said after the New York Yankees failed to sweep the Arizona Diamondbacks, losing, 6-2, in 12 innings.

Phelps failed to do that. In the 12th, Gerardo Parra doubled to start the inning. After an out, Phelps had the Diamondbacks' No. 3 hitter, Paul Goldschmidt, in an 0-2 hole. But the second catcher's interference call of the night on Francisco Cervelli gave Goldschmidt first.

Phelps hit a batter before Cody Ross singled home a run and Eric Chavez doubled in three more. All in all, Phelps did not help his chances to find his way back into the rotation if one of the back-end starters slip-up.

THAT'S CERVELLI: Cervelli is not only a fan favorite, he should eventually be anointed the Yankees' starting catcher, if he continues to play like he has. Like my colleague Wallace Matthews the other day, I gave Yanks manager Joe Girardi the opportunity to do it after Thursday night, but Girardi said he is not ready for that yet.

Cervelli is clearly outplaying Chris Stewart thus far. Cervelli made it a late night with his ninth-inning, game-tying homer.

"I don't care if I hit three homers," Cervelli said. "We lost, so I'm not happy."

Four of seven of Cervelli's career homers have either tied the game or given the Yankees the lead. It is the first game the Yankees have ever lost when Cervell has gone yard.

Cervelli had two catcher's interference with the one to Goldschmidt being especially ill-timed. Girardi said it might have been because Cervelli wasn't that well-versed about the Diamondbacks batters. Girardi implied they swing late. Cervelli just took the blame and did not offer an excuse.

E-NUNEZ: Eduardo Nunez finally made an error on a bad throw in the eighth. It won't be his last. Says who? Says Nunez.

"It is not going be the last," Nunez said.

Nunez was not predicting more doom. His point was that he is going to play in Derek Jeter's absence. He said he has to "turn the page." Hey, he had a pretty good run before Thursday night's shaky performance at short.

HUGHES BETTER: Phil Hughes credited a talk with pitching coach Larry Rothschild for why he was better on Thursday night. Rothschild told Hughes to return to a more aggressive, reliever-like approach. Hughes did and the results followed.

"I felt more like myself," Hughes said.

Hughes went seven innings and allowed just two runs, both on homers.