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TB@NYY: Nova strikes out five over eight-plus innings

It's not Roger Clemens-Greg Maddux or David Cone-Tom Glavine.

However, Monday's series opener between the Yankees and Braves, two teams that squared off in a pair of World Series in the late '90s, pits a pair of promising young starters against each other.

New York right-hander Ivan Nova, who holds a career .750 winning percentage, will vie for a share of the American League lead with his eighth victory. Last year, Nova went 16-4 in his first full season in the big leagues. He has continued his winning ways with a 7-2 mark this season. Despite Nova's 5.09 ERA, the Yankees are 9-2 when he takes the hill.

In his last outing, he shut down Tampa Bay, limiting the Rays to one run on four hits in eight innings in perhaps his strongest outing of the season.

"He's a young pitcher; he's still feeling his way," said Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild. "You don't become a solid Major League pitcher on one good season. You go through some bumps in the road; every young pitcher does it, and it comes at different times.

"It's a normal process, it's a learning process. The important thing is that you come out on the right end of it at the end of the day, and that's what he's working toward."

Like Nova, Braves youngster Randall Delgado is coming off one of his sharpest outings of the year. The 22-year-old, who will pitch Tuesday at Turner Field, held the Marlins to one run on two hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 2-1 win on Wednesday.

"He put all three pitches wherever he wanted," said Braves catcher Brian McCann. "His velocity was at 94 [mph]. When you have stuff like that, you can go anywhere you want to go, and that's what he did."

Yankees: Garcia rejoins ballclub
New York activated right-hander Freddy Garcia from the bereavement list on Sunday after the veteran pitcher returned from Venezuela, where he attended his grandfather's funeral. With Garcia back in the fold, the Yankees optioned righty Ryota Igarashi to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

In 10 appearances (four starts), Garcia is 0-2 with a 7.66 ERA. Igarashi pitched an inning in Friday's 9-1 win, allowing a run on two walks and a hit.

Braves: Chipper returns from disabled list
Atlanta activated 40-year-old third baseman Chipper Jones from the 15-day disabled list prior to Sunday's contest against the Blue Jays. Jones played two games with Class A Rome before rejoining the Braves.

"I think they just wanted to make sure I didn't come off the DL and tweak a groin or a hamstring or something, and then have to go back on the DL," said Jones, who landed on the DL after suffering a bruised calf from being hit by a ground ball on May 18.

To make room for Jones on the active roster, the Braves optioned outfielder Jose Constanza to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Jones went 0-for-3 with a walk on Sunday. He's batting .298 with five home runs and 24 RBIs in 30 games.

Worth noting
• The Yankees are encouraged by the progress of reliever Joba Chamberlain, who has been throwing and running sprints as he recovers from Tommy John surgery and an open dislocation of his ankle.

• Braves right-hander Tim Hudson is confident that he'll be able to pitch on Wednesday after receiving extra rest to cope with discomfort caused by bone spurs in his left ankle. Comments