Starter out since June 10

Updated: July 31, 2004, 12:28 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees activated right-hander Kevin Brown from the disabled list in time for him to start against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.

Brown, sidelined since June 10 with a lower back spasm and an intestinal parasite, pitched in the minors on a rehabilitation assignment.

"His last bullpen session was really good and he seemed to be satisfied with it," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

The start was Brown's first for the Yankees since June 9, when he allowed four runs -- three earned -- and five hits in just two innings in a no-decision against Colorado.

Brown is 7-1 with a 4.13 ERA in 13 starts, and could give the Yankees' inconsistent starting rotation a big boost.

"We counted on him very heavily when the season started, and we've certainly missed him," Torre said.

The six-time All-Star earned his 200th career win earlier this season against Tampa Bay, but has been beset by back problems in recent years. He had surgery to repair a disc in 2002, and his most recent stint marked his seventh time on the DL in six seasons.

"If he comes back feeling good about everything, then we have a pitcher who's well-rested," Torre said.

To make room for Brown, the Yankees optioned right-hander Bret Prinz to Triple-A Columbus. Prinz was 1-0 with a 5.48 ERA in 23 innings for New York.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press