Jacoby Ellsbury gets some rest, serving as DH

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kevin Gausman delivers against
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Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kevin Gausman delivers against the Yankees in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Baltimore.(Credit: AP / Gail Burton)

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BALTIMORE - A "beat up" Jacoby Ellsbury received a half-day off Sunday night. Joe Girardi started the centerfielder, who had played in 90 of the first 93 games, at designated hitter to give his legs a break. "Physically, he needs it," Girardi said.

Ellsbury, hitting .283 with a .348 on-base percentage and 24 steals, hasn't complained of anything specific. "When you get those speed guys, they get beat up," Girardi said. "When you play every day and you're running around, your body's going to hurt. Is there anything serious? No, but he's just beat up."

Second-half rotation

Girardi said his rotation for the Reds series starting Friday at the Stadium will be David Phelps, Brandon McCarthy and Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda will get eight days of rest between starts.

"We haven't pushed him quite as hard this year," Girardi said of Kuroda, who faded down the stretch during the previous two seasons. "He's getting plenty of rest here . . . We don't push him too much over 100 pitches and we'll continue to do that."

Mariano who?

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David Robertson (23-for-25 in saves) has flown mostly under the radar, no small chore given his task of replacing the game's greatest closer, Mariano Rivera.

"I don't know how you could expect someone to do any better than what he's done," Girardi said. "Going into it, there's going to be whispers whenever he blows a save or has a bad day, and I think he's handled that great. I don't know how you could have had a much better first half than he's had."

Greene catches eyes

The Phillies' Cliff Lee is the headline-grabbing name often linked to the Yankees, but more realistic trade options on the Philadelphia staff might be Kyle Kendrick and Roberto Hernandez. Among the prospects the Phillies like who could be part of a deal: Shane Greene, Saturday's starter, who threw 71/3 scoreless innings.

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