SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — David Phelps started spring training uncertain of his role with the New York Yankees. He’ll break camp with a spot in the starting rotation.
On Wednesday night, Phelps started for the seventh time this spring and worked into the sixth inning, striking out nine as the Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-8.
He allowed three runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings. Phelps walked two, and said he was satisfied with his spring.
“I feel like I went out and got better each time out in at least one aspect,” Phelps said. “I came into the season fighting for a rotation spot. Pays off. I’m fortunate that I was able to get a lot of starts this spring.”
Phelps and Ivan Nova were fighting for the final spot in New York’s rotation, but will both have jobs with Phil Hughes beginning the season on the disabled list with a bulging disk in his back.
Phelps ends spring training with a 4.18 ERA. His 28 innings are far more than anyone else on the staff, and his 27 strikeouts were impressive.
“Especially, early on, I felt like I was going out there every day,” Phelps said. “I’m getting more starts. I’ll take it.”
Jair Jurrjens started for the Orioles, but left in the second with a bruised right rib when he was a hit by a line drive by Thomas Neal.
Jurrjens will go for an X-ray on Thursday morning, but says he’s fine.
“Scary. Really scary,” Jurrjens said. “I think I tried to come back a little bit and that’s why it got me right there. I think I tried to come back and tried to catch it. It was just hit so hard.”
Jurrjens signed with the Orioles last month as a minor league free agent and was competing for their No. 5 starter’s job.
Manager Buck Showalter said if Jurrjens was fine, he could pitch him again on Friday or Saturday.
“I would have loved to see him pitch deeper,” Showalter said.
The Yankees started just one regular: center fielder Brett Gardner, but still had 15 hits. Six came off minor leaguer Chris Petrini who allowed six runs in the sixth.
Brennan Boesch and Ben Francisco hit back-to-back home runs.
Taylor Teagarden had a three-run home run and Nate McLouth a two-run shot for Baltimore.
NOTES: New York 2B Robinson Cano missed the game with a stomach virus. Manager Joe Girardi said he hopes Cano can play on Thursday against Pittsburgh. … Yankees 3B Ronnier Mustelier was a late scratch with a sore right knee. … The Orioles reassigned RHP Kevin Gausman, C Chris Robinson and 1B Travis Ishikawa to minor league camp. Gausman, who was Baltimore’s first choice in last season’s draft, will start the season at Double-A Bowie, manager Buck Showalter said. … Orioles RHP Steve Johnson, who was originally scheduled to start on Wednesday, and then moved to Thursday, will not make the start due to a back injury. … Baltimore OF Chris Dickerson strained his right Achilles tendon in the eighth inning. … The Orioles play Tampa Bay on Thursday night. Rays LHP David Price, their opening day starter will pitch. Showalter has been keeping his starters away from AL East competition, and he’ll import a minor league pitcher to start instead of LHP Wei-Yin Chen. “If you’re walking around with David Price stuff, it doesn’t matter,” Showalter said. “You’re a really, really good pitcher when everyone knows that you’re going to do it and you do it. There’s not a whole lot to be learned.”
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)