Yanks' Hiroki Kuroda to start Game 2

Updated: October 14, 2012, 12:55 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees announced that right-hander Hiroki Kuroda will pitch Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.

Kuroda will be starting on three days' rest for the first time in his career.

Right-hander Phil Hughes will follow Kuroda in Game 3, while left-hander CC Sabathia gets the ball in Game 4, regardless of how the series goes, Girardi said.

"We talked about it. The one thing about this crazy schedule is we had to meet 45 minutes after that game to put things together," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Saturday. We talked to (Hiroki), he said he feels good and we decided to go with him on short rest. Hughesy will be on normal rest and so will CC. Someone was possibly going to be off his normal rest. This way, it's only one guy."

Kuroda started Game 3 of the AL Division Series on Wednesday night, giving up two runs on five hits in 8 1/3 innings against the Baltimore Orioles.

"This is probably the shortest rest I've ever had in my baseball career, but at this point in the season, we can't really be talking about anything but to win," Kuroda said through a translator. "I'm just gonna prepare myself to win this game like I always have been throughout the season."

Girardi isn't concerned about possible fatigue with Kuroda.

"He was pretty good the other day. We had talked about that maybe he had shown some fatigue, and we talked to him about it," Girardi said. "Maybe I don't expect him to throw as many pitches tomorrow -- we'll see how he's doing -- but I feel pretty good about sending him out there."

Kuroda has been New York's No. 2 pitcher all season behind Sabathia.

The 37-year-old veteran went 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA during the regular season.

There was some thought the Yankees might not go with Kuroda on short rest, and instead opt to pitch right-hander David Phelps. The 25-year-old right-hander went 2-2 as a starter with a 3.77 ERA.

"That was something that we kicked around as well, but we decided to go with Kuroda," Girardi said.

Girardi also kicked around the idea of going with Sabathia on short rest in Game 3, but ultimately decided it would be better to have his ace on the mound for Game 4.

Sabathia went 2-0 in the ALDS with a 1.53 ERA; Hughes went 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA.

Earlier Saturday, the Yankees added reliever Cody Eppley to their active roster for the ALCS and dropped infielder Eduardo Nunez.

Detroit did not make any changes to its 25-man roster for the best-of-seven series. Teams had until 10 a.m. ET to submit their rosters.

Adding Eppley gives the Yankees 12 pitchers for the series. The 27-year-old right-hander was 1-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 46 innings over 59 relief appearances.

Nunez was 1 for 5 in the five-game division series win over Baltimore, starting Game 2 as the designated hitter and coming into two other games off the bench.

Detroit is carrying 11 pitchers.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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