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Nova demoted to make room for Hughes

Ivan Nova of the New York Yankees looks

Ivan Nova of the New York Yankees looks on during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. (June 20, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Mets aside, things can't be too tough for the Yankees when they can afford to send an eight-game winner to the minor leagues to make room for Phil Hughes.

Ivan Nova (8-4, 4.12 ERA and a winner in four straight decisions) was shipped to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre now that Hughes has satisfied the Yankees that his shoulder inflammation is gone and his fastball is back. Hughes likely will take Nova's turn in Cleveland on Wednesday.

The team mulled keeping both and trying a six-man rotation, but ultimately that was too complicated. With resurgent veteran Bartolo Colon recovered from a hamstring strain and Hughes on the horizon, manager Joe Girardi was faced with six starters who, in his estimation, were all pitching extremely well. One of those is Freddy Garcia, a seven-game winner who appeared to have his eighth victory Sunday before the Mets rallied to tie it against Mariano Rivera in the ninth.

Garcia left after seven innings, allowing one run, six hits and no walks. When the Yankees scored in the top of the eighth, he was in line to get the win. "Everything went well,'' said Garcia, who didn't allow a Met past first base after the first inning.

In another personnel move Sunday, the Yankees recalled righty reliever Lance Pendleton.


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