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Mitre doesn't seem likely to start Thursday

BALTIMORE - Sergio Mitre's right forearm was no longer in a wrap, but it's looking more and more unlikely that the Yankees' fifth starter will make his next scheduled turn Thursday.

Mitre, forced to leave Saturday's game - in which he was pitching a one-hitter - with one out in the seventh after getting hit with a line drive, did not throw his bullpen session yesterday. Instead, Joe Girardi said before last night's game, he played some "light catch." Girardi added, "His start is still in question. We'll have a much better idea [Tuesday], but there's definitely a question mark there."

If Mitre can't go, Girardi said Chad Gaudin will start. Gaudin last started Aug. 19 in Oakland, giving up one hit and no runs in 41/3 innings and throwing 90 pitches. "We're having Chad prepare as if he's starting on Thursday," Girardi said.

Girardi said he's also being cautious with Mitre (3-1, 5.65) because of the pitcher's recent injury history. "The other thing you have to weigh with Serge is he's coming off Tommy John surgery, too, so you have to be smart about it," Girardi said. "As I said, there's a chance he's not going to make that start."

Day of rest for A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez returned to the ballpark where his season got off to a dramatic start May 8 - a three-run homer on the first pitch he saw - and the occasion was marked with him on the bench.

A-Rod played the entire six-game homestand. "I went to him and said I'm thinking of giving you Sunday or Monday off," Girardi said. "We talked about it and we decided on Monday."

Girardi said Rodriguez, while wanting to play every day, doesn't fight him on the occasional rest. "Physically, he knows he's been through a lot this year and he has to be smart," Girardi said.

Extra bases

Girardi, without specifying, said a "few pitchers, meaning more than two," and some position players will be brought up Tuesdaywhen rosters expand. "We're going to add a few people," he said . . . Brett Gardner said he will take batting practice Tuesdayand probably Wednesday and hopes to play in a rehab game by Thursday night . . . The Yankees were interested in Brad Penny - who was released last week by the Red Sox, went unclaimed and became a free agent Monday afternoon - but the righty agreed to a deal with the Giants . . . The Yankees have acquired minor-league outfielder Freddy Guzman from Triple-A Norfolk (Baltimore) in exchange for a player to be named or cash. Guzman will be assigned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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