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Girardi says 'good possibility' Montgomery starts for Yankees on Sunday

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TORONTO (AP) — Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday there's "a really good possibility" that rookie left-hander and native Sumterite Jordan Montgomery will be recalled from Triple-A to start against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night.

Montgomery, 7-6 with a 4.05 ERA in 21 starts, would start in place of left-hander CC Sabathia, who left Tuesday's loss at Toronto after three innings because of soreness in his arthritic right knee.

"It's a really good possibility it will be Monty on Sunday," Girardi said.

A scan Wednesday showed no new damage, but Girardi said his inclination was Sabathia would not be able to start after leaving Tuesday's game "in a substantial amount of pain." The 17-year veteran is 9-5 with a 4.05 ERA in 19 starts.

"I want to see CC tomorrow before we make a decision," Girardi said. "Maybe the medicine is working. Let's just see. I want to talk to him first, basically."

Montgomery was optioned to Triple-A on Sunday in an attempt to limit his innings. New York wants Montgomery, currently at 115 2/3 innings, to pitch about 180 innings this year. He set a career high with 139 1/3 innings at Double-A Trenton and Scranton last season.

Also Thursday, the Yankees placed outfielder Clint Frazier on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained left oblique, and activated outfielder Aaron Hicks off the DL. Frazier, who had an MRI on Thursday morning will not swing a bat for the next week to avoid worsening the injury, which is considered slight.

Hicks has been out since June 25 because of a strained right oblique and was originally expected back Friday. Hicks is batting .290 with 10 homers and a career-high 37 RBIs. He needs one home run to match his career high.

"Your hope is he can pick up where he left off," Girardi said. "That would be ideal. On base, driving in runs, he was playing a very good center field."

Before early batting practice Thursday, someone had taped an outline on the field at the spot where Yankees third base coach Joe Espada fell down Wedesday while waving a runner home. Espada's number 53 was also taped to the turf.

Espada said he suspected Girardi was behind the prank, but the manager didn't want to come clean.

"He can believe what he wants," a smiling Girardi said. "I had a hard time containing myself last night and I'm still laughing about it."