New York Yankees starting pitcher Freddy Garcia walks off the...

New York Yankees starting pitcher Freddy Garcia walks off the field following the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays . (July 15, 2011) Credit: AP

Freddy Garcia is expected to start the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader in Baltimore, Joe Girardi said yesterday.

Garcia allowed two runs, eight hits and a walk in four innings Monday during a rehab outing with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. At his pregame news conference, Girardi said he hadn’t gotten details about Garcia’s performance, which the manager believed was a good thing.

“Usually when you get a report after a guy makes a rehab start right away, something went wrong,” he said. “So it’s probably good that I didn’t hear that anything went wrong. I’ll check with him today to see how he feels, but our plans are for him to start the second game Saturday.”

With Garcia (10-7, 3.16 ERA) back, that means the Yankees will stick with a six-man rotation at least until they conclude the five-game series in Baltimore on Monday.

It was speculated that Phil Hughes or A.J. Burnett would be sent to the bullpen. Burnett (9-10, 4.96) has been erratic, but some believed his $82.5-million contract ($16.5 million in 2011) would keep him in the rotation. Not so, Girardi said. He said high-priced contracts and relief experience won’t factor into which starter goes to the pen.

Girardi could be off the hook if the Yankees decide to skip Bartolo Colon next time. Colon, Tuesday night’s starter, has logged 131 innings, more than he’s pitched in a season since 2005. “We’ll have to watch him carefully,” Girardi said.

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