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Yankees option Thomas Neal to Triple-A

06/23/2013 6:57 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Needing a roster spot to accommodate Sunday's starter, Ivan Nova, the Yankees optioned outfielder Thomas Neal to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Neal was called up on June 14 and appeared in four games for the Yankees, going 2-for-11 (.184) with one walk and a run scored in 12 plate appearances.

Earlier this season at Triple-A, Neal hit .339 with two homers and 24 RBIs for the RailRiders.

Nova, who entered Sunday 2-1 with a 5.16 ERA in the Majors this year -- and 2-0 with a 2.04 ERA in three starts at Scranton since being optioned to Triple-A -- was called up because the Yankees needed a fresh starter after both Phil Hughes and Hiroki Kuroda were used in Wednesday's doubleheader.

Manager Joe Girardi would not commit to Nova staying in the Bronx past Sunday, saying that "those are decisions we'll have to make, and [Nova] can only control what he does today."

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