ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Joe Girardi finally announced his rotation Wednesday for the Subway Series, and it contained no surprises.

Masahiro Tanaka will start Friday night's opener at Citi Field -- which could line him up to start Wednesday in Toronto -- followed by Michael Pineda on Saturday afternoon and CC Sabathia Sunday night.

Tanaka will be starting on four days' rest for only the fifth time this season. But he has had success doing so -- 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA, including seven shutout innings Sunday against the Blue Jays. At this point in the season, it's difficult for the Yankees to be cautious with someone who missed 21/2 months last year with a partially torn ligament in his pitching elbow.

"We checked with him to see how he was, he said he felt good, and that's why we're doing it,'' Girardi said. "I know he hasn't done it a lot, but we need him to pitch well for us.''

Tanaka (12-6, 3.40 ERA) is 2-2 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts against the Blue Jays. "He's pitched extremely well [against Toronto],'' Girardi said, while not guaranteeing he would start Wednesday at Rogers Centre. "But we'll have to see how he feels.''

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Nova out of rotation

Ivan Nova, 2-5 with a 7.46 ERA in his last seven starts, has been dropped from the rotation, Girardi said. Nova will pitch out of the bullpen starting this weekend.

"We're trying to get the guys that are throwing the best right now,'' Girardi said.

A-Rod OK

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Alex Rodriguez said the MRI Tuesday that showed a bone bruise in his left knee is no big deal. "It's banged up a little bit but it's ready to go,'' said A-Rod, who started Wednesday night but will be limited to pinch hitting against the Mets because there's no DH.