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NYY@KC: Whitley earns first MLB win with strong start

A couple of pleasantly surprising rookies will face off Thursday in the final contest of a three-game series between the Yankees and Mariners.

Chase Whitley will start for New York. All he's done since stepping in for the injured CC Sabathia (right knee) on May 15 is post a 2.42 ERA in five starts, most recently earning his first win by pitching a season-high seven innings against the Royals on June 6.

Roenis Elias will go for Seattle. Despite never pitching above Double-A before this season, the Cuban southpaw has a 3.64 ERA while logging 81 2/3 innings, second on the team behind Felix Hernandez.

Elias held the Bombers to six hits and two runs with a season-high 10 strikeouts in a 4-2 win at Yankee Stadium on May 1.

On Saturday at Tampa Bay, he earned his second straight win, backing up a three-hit shutout against Detroit in his previous outing.

"I felt really good out there," Elias said through interpreter Fernando Alcala. "I'm doing what I'm capable of doing, and just to come out here and do the things that have made me successful in the past, I'm working hard to keep that going,"

Elias has gone more to his changeup the last two games and is seeing positive results.

"It helped tremendously, especially in the first inning [against the Rays], when they were jumping on the first pitch," he said. "To go with the changeup and throw them off balance helped, because batters have been sitting on fastballs lately on first pitch.

"With just the way scouting reports are, everybody knows I've got a fastball and curve early in the count. So you have to make those adjustments and get ahead in the count."

Yankees: Kelley off DL; Huff acquired 
The Yankees received two reinforcements to their already-strong bullpen on Wednesday, activating right-hander Shawn Kelley from the disabled list and acquiring lefty David Huff from the Giants.

Kelley began the season as the Yankees' primary eighth-inning option and will rejoin the fold with Dellin Betances and Adam Warren.

"It just gives me more versatility," manager Joe Girardi said. "Gives me another late-inning guy with the two that we've had, that we've been using a lot, maybe you don't have one one day, as I said, I think all these guys are interchangeable. It gives us more depth."

Meanwhile, the Yankees acquired Huff -- who was with the Yankees last season -- for cash considerations.

Right-hander Matt Daley was optioned to Triple-A and left-hander Wade LeBlanc was designated for assignment.

Mariners: Smoak to DL; Morrison recalled
Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left quad, retroactive to June 10, and rehabbing outfielder Logan Morrison was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to fill his absence Wednesday.

Morrison has been out since mid-April with a strained right hamstring. He was just 3-for-20 with two runs scored in limited action before the injury, but had a productive rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma, batting .308 with three home runs in 18 games.

Morrison said he's been working on slowing his pace at the plate after being too pull-happy at the beginning of the season.

"I don't know if you saw before I got hurt, but everything was to my pull side, and pretty much a bunch of ground balls," he said.

The Mariners traded reliever Carter Capps to Miami for Morrison last December. The 26-year-old is a career .247 hitter whose best season came in 2011, when he hit 23 home runs and drove in 72 runs for the Marlins.

Smoak, meanwhile, has been in a slide since the beginning of May, as his batting average has plummeted to .208. He hopes to be ready to return to the lineup when the Mariners get back from their next road trip.

"He's going to continue to rehab here," McClendon said. "Hopefully, sometime next week, we'll get him out and get him some at-bats [on a rehab assignment]. Hopefully he'll be ready to go when we get back off the road."

Worth noting
• Mariners right fielder Michael Saunders was out of the lineup on Wednesday with a sore right shoulder. He's missed four of the last five games.

• Jacoby Ellsbury's RBI single Wednesday extended his hitting streak to 15 games, marking the longest active streak in the Majors and the fourth longest in the American League this season. Comments