Yankees Will Start Brown in Game 3

Times Staff Writer

Former Dodger Kevin Brown will start for the New York Yankees in Game 3 of their American League division Series at Minnesota on Friday, partly because he pitched well in his last start and partly because Orlando Hernandez wasn’t ready after throwing in the bullpen Wednesday for the first time since developing a sore right shoulder.

Hernandez hasn’t pitched since Friday. Brown pitched Saturday against Toronto and gave up one hit and one unearned run in 5 1/3 innings but lost, 6-0.

The Yankees’ decision was complicated by Brown’s ongoing back woes. However, pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre told Manager Joe Torre that Brown was the best choice after monitoring Hernandez’s bullpen session. Javier Vazquez now probably will start Game 4, on Saturday at Minnesota.


“He’s been dealing with a lot of things, aside from breaking his hand,” Torre said of Brown, who injured himself by punching a wall Sept. 3. “But knock on wood, from that game to now, physically he feels good. And just the experience factor, I think, was a big part.... I’m sure he’s capable of throwing 100 pitches.”

Hernandez said he was encouraged after throwing about 50 pitches Wednesday but added, “I don’t feel good for Friday.” He said his prospects of pitching in the series in any role would depend on how his shoulder feels after Wednesday’s exertion.

“Initially, I was a little scared, but then I felt better,” he said of his workout. “I feel better now, happier, because I’m progressing [toward the point where] I can help the team not on the bench, but on the mound.”

In a season scarred by illness, his broken hand and other injuries, Brown was 10-6 with a 4.09 earned-run average in 22 starts. He said he appreciates the faith shown by Stottlemyre and Torre.

“It was a while there I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get out of bed to get back on the field, so to have an opportunity in October to go out there and be a part of this team again, it’s great,” Brown said.

“The big thing is, despite whatever you’re feeling, being able to go out and throw the ball. And I’ve done it in the past and I’ve done it quite well.”



Minnesota Manager Ron Gardenhire said right-hander Carlos Silva would start Friday. He also said he’d bring back Game 1 winner Johan Santana on three days’ rest in Game 4 if the left-hander feels strong enough.

Silva, who was 14-8 in his first season as a starter, said he’s aware of the Yankee mystique and his inexperience.

“I don’t even pitch one inning in the playoff and they have played like, I don’t know how many games they have played in the playoffs,” he said.

“But I don’t put pressure on myself, because if I put pressure on myself, you’re going to be gone in the first inning.”


Both teams will work out in the Metrodome today, the Twins in the morning and the Yankees in the afternoon.