Yanks move up Phelps, Hughes to face Orioles

Yanks move up Phelps, Hughes to face Orioles

NEW YORK -- The Yankees are playing a hunch. On Friday, manager Joe Girardi shuffled the team's pitching staff for the next few days, shifting veteran Freddy Garcia out of the Baltimore series.

Garcia, originally scheduled to pitch on Saturday, will now pitch Tuesday against Tampa Bay. The Yankees will go with David Phelps on Saturday and Phil Hughes in Sunday's finale against the Orioles, and Girardi announced those moves but didn't really go too far to explain them.

"We like the way Phelpsie and Hughesie have been throwing, so we're going to start them," he said. "It's not just one little thing. It's things we looked at, and we decided to go that way."

One factor may have been the way Hughes has been pitching at Yankee Stadium. Hughes, who last pitched Tuesday in a 2-1 win over Toronto, has gone 10-3 with a 3.25 ERA at home this season. Garcia, by contrast, has gone 4-3 with a 5.36 mark at home, but Girardi wouldn't elaborate on the matter.

"There's not one exact reason," he said. "We just decided we'd do it this way."

Phelps has made 19 of his 25 appearances as a reliever this season, but he's made three straight starts for New York's injury-ravaged rotation. The right-hander has completed five innings in each of those last three outings, and he's given up three earned runs or fewer in two of them.