NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi said after Wednesday's 12-4 win over the Rangers that right-hander Brian Gordon would start Thursday for the Yankees in the series finale.
The Yankees manager had said before the game that the plan was to add Gordon to the club's roster Thursday, when he or long-relief man Hector Noesi would take the hill.
"[Gordon's] had an outstanding season in Triple-A for the Phillies," Girardi said after his team's win Wednesday. "It is his day to start, he's actually on his regular turn. Seen a little film on him, not a ton, but a little bit. Seems to throw a lot of strikes, has good command, has a curveball, slider, changeup, and he's a veteran guy. I think he's almost 33 years old, and so we had Noesi up tonight, and he's more built up than Hector because of the way we had to use Hector."
Noesi warmed up in the fifth Wednesday but ended up not pitching.
Gordon went 5-0 this season with an International League-best 1.14 ERA for Triple-A Lehigh Valley of the Phillies' organization.
The 32-year-old Gordon's only stint in the Majors came with the Rangers in 2008, when, in three relief appearances, he gave up one run on four hits in four innings.
"He went out and gave you everything he had," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Nothing overpowering, throws strikes and changes speeds. He's a competitor. Undoubtedly, some of the Yankees scouts saw him and liked what they saw. They think he can keep them in the game."
"If you're not persistent, you're not going to stay in this game," Washington added. "There is so much failure, so much knock down and so many people telling you that you can't do it. But there's always opportunity. It may be a long opportunity or a short opportunity, but you have to take advantage of it."
The Yankees have needed a starter for Thursday ever since Bartolo Colon strained his left hamstring Saturday, placing the right-hander on the 15-day DL.
Before Wednesday's game, the Yankees announced the signing of Cory Wade to a Major League contract Wednesday, two days after signing the right-hander to a Minor League deal.
Wade ended up pitching in the eighth inning Wednesday, a 1-2-3 frame that ended with Yorvit Torrealba striking out swinging.
Reliever Kevin Whelan was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for Wade on the Major League roster, and Rafael Soriano was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
Wade was the winning pitcher Monday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in its 8-3 victory over Syracuse, pitching 1 2/3 shutout innings and giving up just two hits in a relief appearance.
Before being released by the Tampa Bay organization, Wade had gone 2-1 with a 1.23 ERA in 21 games for Triple-A Durham.
Swisher into leadoff spot against lefty
NEW YORK -- The rearranged Yankees lineup on Wednesday was a surprise even to Nick Swisher, whose cell phone buzzed with the news that he'd be leading off for the first time in pinstripes.
Swisher said he got a heads-up from manager Joe Girardi before getting to Yankee Stadium, and he'd even held the phone up so his wife, actress Joanna Garcia, could see the contents of the text message.
"I figured, I've hit in every other spot in the lineup, I might as well do this one, too," Swisher said.
Swisher's only other big league experience as a leadoff hitter came in 2008 with the White Sox, when Ozzie Guillen wrote his name there 29 times.
With Derek Jeter on the disabled list, the Yankees have a vacancy atop the lineup. Brett Gardner filled the spot on Tuesday, but Girardi made a switch with the Rangers starting left-hander Derek Holland.
Girardi said he based the decision on Swisher's career on-base percentage against lefties (.401), as well as his 2011 on-base percentage facing southpaws (.438).
"I was never a leadoff hitter," Swisher said. "I never had that speed to do it, but I guess my hitting style -- taking a lot of pitches, working walks -- in the situation right now, Skip thought I was the best guy for the job. I'm all for it. I want to win."
Gardner went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a RBI in New York's 12-4 win over Texas on Wednesday, but said he understood not being in the lineup.
He has hit 38 points lower against lefties (.250) than righties (.288), but his on-base percentage is actually better against lefties (.364) than righties (.361).
"Gardy's been playing exceptionally well," Girardi said. "I'm not married to [the idea that] every time we face a lefty Gardy's not playing, because I like Gardy's at-bats."
Andruw Jones took Gardner's spot in left field, with Swisher in right field and Curtis Granderson in center. Gardner said that despite his good game Tuesday, he didn't arrive at the stadium expecting to be in the lineup.
"I wouldn't say that. I knew we were facing a lefty, so there's really only so many ways you can move things around," Gardner said.
Martin better, but still out of lineup
NEW YORK -- Russell Martin was not in the lineup for the seventh time in the last eight games Wednesday, as the catcher was still not 100 percent after experiencing back stiffness that started a week ago.
"Martin is better, but I still don't have him in the lineup," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's continually getting better. I want him to say that it's pretty much gone, and he can't tell me that yet."
Francisco Cervelli once again started behind the plate in Martin's absence, batting eighth. Cervelli has gone 4-for-21 (.190) since Martin was hurt, though three of those hits came last Wednesday, the first game without Martin.
Martin started Sunday after missing four straight games, and went 0-for-4. He was a late scratch Monday after Girardi said he did not see everything he needed to out of Martin in batting practice.
When first hurt, Martin said head athletic trainer Gene Monahan told him the injury could last up to 10 days.
Soriano advised to rest before resuming rehab
NEW YORK -- Yankees right-hander Rafael Soriano is getting closer to continuing a throwing program, but he has been advised to rest until next week.
Manager Joe Girardi said that Soriano threw on Tuesday and seemed better than the last time he played catch, but the Yankees still weren't convinced Soriano was ready for the next steps.
"If we felt it was 100 percent, we would have continued with this throwing program," Girardi said. "He's close, but he's not quite there."
Sidelined since May 14 with right elbow inflammation, Soriano was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday to create room for right-hander Cory Wade on the active roster.
He signed a three-year, $35 million deal with New York after leading the American League with 45 saves for the Tampa Bay Rays last year.
Additionally, right-hander Joba Chamberlain was seen by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., on Wednesday and will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on Thursday.
Jeter to head to Tampa for rehab work
NEW YORK -- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will not travel with the team for their upcoming road trip to Chicago and Cincinnati, instead reporting to the club's facility in Tampa, Fla.
The captain should have some company: most of the players on New York's disabled list will be heading to Tampa for treatment and rehabilitation, manager Joe Girardi said on Wednesday.
Just six hits shy of becoming the 28th player to amass 3,000 hits, Jeter was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with a Grade 1 strain of his right calf.
The Yankees estimate it will be at least 10 days before Jeter can resume baseball activities.
"I can't tell you exactly what will happen there," Girardi said. "Let's just get him healthy first and then we'll make a decision."
On the disabled list for the fifth time in his career and the first since 2003, Jeter would be eligible to be activated on June 29, when the Yankees play the second game of a three-game series with the Brewers.
He should be comfortable during his time away from the team; Jeter makes his offseason home in Tampa and recently completed construction of a mansion in the Davis Islands area of town.
Infielder Eric Chavez (fractured left foot) jogged on a treadmill Monday, his first time running since suffering the injury in early May. Chavez was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on June 8.
Brett Gardner was given the second-base bag used in Tuesday's game, which he swiped in the sixth inning for his 100th career stolen base.
New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin watched batting practice at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, exchanging pleasantries with Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson.
Dave Robertson received a $1,700 check on Wednesday from Bleacher Creature 'Bald Vinny' Milano, who auctioned off T-shirts to help benefit Robertson's 'High Socks for Hope' charity for Alabama tornado relief.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch. Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.