Michael Pineda struggles in fourth rehab start

Michael Pineda, who is on a rehab assignment

Michael Pineda, who is on a rehab assignment with the Double-A Trenton Thunder, works against the Erie Seawolves at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton. (June 25, 2013) (Credit: Martin Griff)

BALTIMORE - Michael Pineda's fourth rehab start didn't go nearly as well as his previous three.

Starting for Double-A Trenton at Binghamton Sunday afternoon, the righthander allowed four runs and four hits, including two home runs, in three innings. He struck out four but walked the same number.

In his three previous rehab starts -- two with Class A Tampa and one with Trenton -- Pineda allowed one earned run in 141/3 innings.

"His velocity was fine,'' Joe Girardi said. "Just from the boxscore, it just looks like he didn't pitch as well.''

One scout said Pineda's velocity peaked at 95 mph but that he was "all over the place,'' which also was reflected in the boxscore. Of his 67 pitches, 32 were strikes.

He could be deemed ready after two more rehab starts, though when that occurs, he's likely to be sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

So much for thatAfter two days of saying he planned to start Ivan Nova in one of the four games in Minneapolis, Girardi switched gears Sunday, saying he likely will stay in rotation. That means Andy Pettitte will start Monday night, followed by Phil Hughes, CC Sabathia and David Phelps.

Nova relieved Phelps, who allowed nine runs in 21/3 innings Saturday, and allowed two runs in 52/3 innings.

Nova, recalled from Triple-A on June 2, said he is not hoping for Phelps or Hughes to falter, which would allow him to return to the rotation.

"I don't think like that,'' he said. "I just want to win. [Whoever] is on the mound, I just want them to do a good job for the team. I want everybody to pitch well. My time will come.''

Extra basesAlex Rodriguez had three hits in six simulated at-bats Sunday at the minor-league complex in Tampa, Girardi said.

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