Bombers bits

• Brett Gardner returned to the Yankees' lineup on Thursday after being unavailable on Wednesday with what the club termed a lower abdominal strain. Gardner was also dealing with a stomach illness during the Minneapolis portion of the current road trip.

• The Yankees are unlikely to announce a starter for Sunday's game against the Orioles until Saturday, but there is a good chance the start will go to right-hander Chase Whitley, who pitched two innings in relief on Wednesday.

"I think it all depends on what happens the next few days," Girardi said. "[Pitching coach] Larry [Rothschild] and I talked about it, we brought it up today, and he said, 'Let's just get through the next few days to determine what we're going to do.'"

• On this date in 2004, the Yankees dedicated a Monument Park plaque to Hall of Fame pitcher Red Ruffing, who was with the club from 1930-46 and still owns the club record for wins by a right-hander with 231.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.