Betances returns to bigs; Youkilis hopeful

NEW YORK -- The Yankees promoted right-handed pitcher Dellin Betances from Triple-A on Sunday morning, and demoted infielder David Adams.

Phil Hughes, the Yankees' starting pitcher on Saturday, lasted just 4 1/3 innings. Andy Pettitte, the scheduled starter on Sunday, last just 2 2/3 innings in his last outing.

"We just need pitching," manager Joe Girardi said, prior to Sunday's game. "Our bullpen’s been used a lot."

Betances, 25, made two appearances for the Yankees back in September 2011. But he went 6-9 with a 6.44 ERA with Double-A Trenton and Triple A-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2012, with 99 walks in 131 1/3 innings.

The Yankees converted him from starter to reliever early this season, and the results have been impressive. In 27 relief appearances at Triple-A, Betances is 4-2 with a 1.48 ERA. In 48 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, he has 63 strikeouts and 21 walks.

In his last 17 outings for the RailRiders, dating back to June 19, Betances hasn't given up an earned run in 30 innings, with 41 K's.

Betances said he thinks pitching more often, as opposed to every five days, has helped him be more consistent. "I just feel like, confidence-wise, I feel good," he said.

It's a homecoming for the New York City native, an imposing presence on the mound at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds.

If he keeps pitching the way he has, he could be a big factor in the Yankees' stretch run.

YOUK'S HERE: Kevin Youkilis was in the clubhouse Sunday morning and spoke with reporters.

Youkilis, who had back surgery seven and a half weeks ago, is still holding out hope that he can return to the Yankees sometime in September.

"Dr. Watkins said the quickest somebody ever came back from this is 12 weeks," Youkilis said. "I hope to be one of the quickest guys."

Youkilis, who is rehabbing in New York, has not yet been cleared to do any baseball activities.