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NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that 32-year-old career minor leaguer Brian Gordon pitched well enough in his first major league start to earn a second one. Gordon will be the Yankees starter next Tuesday against the Reds.
"I was impressed," Girardi said after the Yankees' 3-2 12-inning win over the Rangers.
With the Yankees going to Chicago and Cincinnati, it doesn't hurt that Gordon spent 10 years in the minors as a hitter before being converted into a pitcher in 2007. In 2009, he pitched in three games as a reliever for the Rangers.
On Thursday, after Gordon received a nice ovation, following his 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball, Girardi saddled up next to him.
"This is a guy, we know knows how to swing the bat," Girardi said. "I asked him today, after he came out, 'Not to get to ahead of ourselves, but have you taken any swings this year?' He said, 'Yes, he had.' I said, 'Very good.'"
On Thursday, Gordon received a no-decision as the Yankees' ended their nine-game homestand by sweeping the Rangers. After being swept by the Red Sox to begin the nine-gamer, the Yankees won six of their last seven against the Indians and the Rangers.
"To be a position player as high as Triple-A and then decide you want to pitch is really pretty amazing," Girardi said.
Gordon was so unknown that before he officially signed with the Yankees Wednesday he wanted to throw long toss. So he and one of the Yankees' staffers, Brett Weber, went across the street from Yankee Stadium and played catch on one of the fields in the park.
"Nobody recognized me, but one guy said, 'You've got a good arm,'" Gordon said.
Girardi agrees and that is why Gordon is receiving a second career start.Andrew Marchand covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com.