CLEVELAND -- Dustin Moseley had other offers to attend camp during Spring Training this year, but his aching left hip made him wonder if he could keep up with all of the regular running regimens that go along with February and March in Florida or Arizona.

After Moseley had arthroscopic surgery on the hip in August 2009, a similar procedure to the one Alex Rodriguez underwent, the right-hander couldn't even begin throwing until January.

That made the Yankees' no-pressure invitation to Spring Training an appealing one, as general manager Brian Cashman told Moseley he could take his time getting ready and pledged that the organization would work to get him right. The payoff will come on Thursday, as Moseley makes his first start for New York.

"A lot of hard work has gone in," Moseley said. "A lot of sitting around, thinking, 'You've got to keep this going. You've still got talent left and ability. You've been blessed for a reason.' And here I am, playing for the New York Yankees. I think the story is pretty neat."

Moseley appeared in 64 games (23 starts) with the Angels from 2006-09, going 8-7 with a 5.41 ERA. He underwent ulnar relocation surgery in '07 in his right elbow and went on the disabled list last April with right forearm tightness, missing the remainder of the season.

After 12 starts at Triple-A and four relief outings for the Yankees, he will get his chance to try it again at the big league level, filling in for Andy Pettitte after Sergio Mitre produced underwhelming results in a spot effort.

"I think this a great opportunity," Moseley said. "It's a blessing for me to go out there, and if I go out and pitch like I'm capable, hopefully, there will be another start involved."

A-Rod pleased with quality of at-bats

CLEVELAND -- The scoreboard mandated that Alex Rodriguez could feel free to swing for the fences at Progressive Field on Wednesday, providing him one final chance to club career home run No. 600 while the Yankees coasted to an 8-0 victory over the Indians.

Rodriguez went head-to-head with Cleveland right-hander Frank Herrmann in his chase for history in the eighth inning, and the rookie didn't shy away from the challenge, taking on Rodriguez in a 10-pitch at-bat that ended with a harmless fly ball to shallow right field.

"He went right after me and threw me a bunch of fastballs, throwing up in the mid-90s, sinking it and cutting it," Rodriguez said. "It was a good battle. He got the best."

As Rodriguez's chase for No. 600 passed through its sixth game, the Yankees slugger left the stadium satisfied with his at-bats in a 2-for-5 performance, owning an RBI single and a double to show for his night.

Rodriguez lined his run-scoring hit to center field off Fausto Carmona in the first inning, the first of four Indians pitchers he'd face.

Carmona retired A-Rod on a second-inning popup, and Hector Ambriz struck out Rodriguez swinging in the third before the third baseman doubled to right field facing Jess Todd in the sixth, sliding headfirst into the base and taking the bag with him for a short ride as it popped out.

"I felt really good about my at-bats today," Rodriguez said. "I got into deeper counts and saw more pitches. I thought my swing overall was a little shorter, and that's all good."

Rodriguez thought he might have gotten a pitch to hit during his at-bat against Herrmann, a Rutherford, N.J., product who attended Harvard and grew up as a Yankees fan. Rodriguez fouled that ninth pitch back to the screen, and pitch No. 10 landed in Shelley Duncan's glove.

"Obviously, everyone's aware of it," Herrmann said. "I'd be lying if I said we weren't aware of it. Look, no one wants to be that guy to give it up. Eventually, it'll happen.

"He's one of the best hitters ever, so it's going to happen to somebody and you're going to join a list with other great pitchers on there, so there's no shame in it. But on this particular night, I just didn't want it to be me."

Overall, Rodriguez said he has been impressed how the Tribe's hurlers have come right after him.

"You've always got to remember, we're here to win a ballgame and so are they," Rodriguez said. "You can't get caught up too much with what they're trying to do with one guy. They're a team, and we're trying to also win and play good baseball collectively."

Robinson Cano might have something to do with that, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

"As I've said all along, the guy behind him is swinging pretty good, too," Girardi said. "You just can't give free passes."

Since Rodriguez hit No. 599 on July 22 off the Royals' Robinson Tejeda, he has gone 8-for-26 with three doubles and five RBIs.

Rodriguez's drought between Nos. 599 and No. 600 -- 26 at-bats -- is longer than any of the previous six players endured; Willie Mays had the previous longest wait at 21 at-bats before he connected for No. 600 off the Padres' Mike Corkins on Sept. 22, 1969.

Girardi said that he has noticed a restlessness among his players, anticipating that each at-bat will be the one where the flashing cameras and specially marked "R" baseballs are satisfied.

"I think guys were anticipating and hoping that he'd do it," Girardi said. "You see guys stand up that might be sitting normally. This is quite a milestone, and guys want to be there when he does it."

Posada well enough to return to lineup

CLEVELAND -- Jorge Posada returned to the Yankees' starting lineup as the designated hitter on Wednesday against the Indians after a cyst behind his left knee forced the catcher to be a late scratch the previous evening.

Posada said that the ailment -- clinically known as a Baker's cyst -- has been something the 38-year-old has had to manage with heat and ice therapy since 2006, at the latest.

"It's been there for a while," Posada said. "It's just part of it. Catchers do get that. It's one of those things you've got to just take care of."

Posada felt ready to serve as the DH on Wednesday, and he hoped that he would be in the lineup catching Yankees starter Dustin Moseley for Thursday's series finale.

"It's a situation that he's dealt with before," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Wednesday. "We'll just check tomorrow and go day by day and see how he is. We can get him in the lineup, because DHing doesn't bother him."

Rookies' dominance of Yanks a mystery

CLEVELAND -- The Yankees had a stockpile of video information to digest regarding Indians rookie Josh Tomlin on Tuesday, as well as the personal experience of first baseman Juan Miranda, who had faced the right-hander in the International League.

But it didn't do them much good, as Tomlin took a shutout into the eighth inning and earned the win in the Yankees' 4-1 loss, continuing a baffling trend of New York's struggles against pitchers the club is facing for the first time.

From the start of the 2001 season through Tuesday, seven pitchers have won their Major League debuts against the Yankees, tied for the second most against any team, trailing only the White Sox (eight).

"I think it's just movement -- we've become robots after a while," said Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. "We've seen guys so many times, over and over again, that over the last five or six years, for some reason these guys have had a lot of success against us. It seems like more of the guys are soft-throwing lefties that really have a lot of success."

Pitchers debuting have a five-game winning streak against the Yankees, with one no-decision, and the 3.47 ERA by such pitchers against New York is the second lowest against any team, trailing only the ERA against the Red Sox (2.23).

"Maybe you would do better if you were a free-swinging club against guys that you've never seen before," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "[Tomlin] had us out in front of some balls and late on some balls. We were just in between a little bit. He threw a good game, but I don't really have a great theory. I wish it wasn't the case."

Worth noting

Alfredo Aceves, on the disabled list with a strained lower back, is scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Friday, and if it goes well, the Yankees could ramp up the right-hander's rehab schedule. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he does not believe that left-hander Damaso Marte (strained left oblique) is close to throwing off a mound. ... Brett Gardner entered Wednesday with a team-high eight outfield assists, including four in July. ... Mark Teixeira did not reach base on Tuesday, ending a career-high stretch of 42 consecutive games.