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07/19/12 10:37 PM ET

Phelps returns to provide innings out of bullpen

OAKLAND -- David Phelps could be the go-to guy if the Yankees need more than three outs.

The right-hander was back with the big league team Thursday after he was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre following Wednesday night's win over the Blue Jays.

"We've seen the last couple of weeks, there were times we would use him," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Phelps in key spots. "Some of our guys down there are mix-and-match. Sometimes they've thrown a couple of days in a row where, Cory [Wade] was that guy for the last year for us, that you would go to and I'd say, 'I need five outs from him. I don't want to mix and match today because I've used these guys too much.' Here's a guy that I feel you can do it with."

Phelps, 25, is 1-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 games (three starts) this season. Girardi said he wants to use Phelps more frequently than he would a long man, but Phelps could nonetheless pitch two innings. Phelps also serves as rotation insurance.

Cano extends hitting streak to 22 games

OAKLAND -- Second baseman Robinson Cano's hit streak reached 22 games at an opportune time Thursday night, in the sixth inning of the Yankees' 4-3 loss the A's at the Oakland Coliseum.

Eleven Yankees in a row had been retired when the sixth began. Derek Jeter started the frame with a single off A's rookie right-hander A.J. Griffin, and Cano came through with the third single of the inning as the Yankees built their first rally of the night. New York plated two in the frame, cutting Oakland's lead in half to 4-2.

Cano's single came on a liner to left on a 1-0, 89-mph fastball that Griffin threw belt-high to the inside corner.

Cano entered the night hitting .402 (33-for-82) during his career-long hit streak. Just three Yankees have had hit streaks longer than 21 games since Joe DiMaggio's record 56 in 1941: Joe Gordon (29 games, 1942), Derek Jeter (25 games, 2006) and Don Mattingly (24 games, 1986).

Cano reached base on a fielder's choice in his first at-bat, on a line drive to Oakland left fielder Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes dropped the ball and was ruled to have not made a catch. With runners on first and second to start the play, that set up a forceout at third base, and allowed Cano to reach. Cano finished the night 1-for-4.

Reggie back with Yankees for A's series

OAKLAND -- Reggie Jackson was more interested in chatting with fellow Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson than the media Thursday at the Oakland Coliseum.

Jackson, a legend with the A's and the Yankees, was back in a New York uniform as a special adviser Thursday and watched batting practice from behind the batting cage. He had been away from the team since the series before the All-Star break.

"I'm here, like you, to watch the game," Jackson told reporters in the Yankees clubhouse before heading to the field. "Watch them keep winning."

Jackson was on leave after critical comments he made to Sports Illustrated about several Hall of Famers and players linked to performance-enhancing drugs, including third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

A week ago Thursday, Jackson released a statement that said he was reaching out to the offended parties and that he looked forward to returning to the team. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the issue is in the past.

"I think it's all behind us," Girardi said. "I think that's the most important thing. I think Reg has made a number of calls to try to rectify everything. I'm OK with it. I'm glad he's here. Let's just move on."

Worth noting

• How rehabbing right-hander Joba Chamberlain responds to back-to-back outings is important, but not the final hurdle. Chamberlain is scheduled to throw in a Class A Advanced game with the Tampa Yankees on Friday.

"I don't think that would be the last test," manager Joe Giradi said Thursday. "Let's let the powers that be make that decision."

How the pitcher handles three games in four days is important too, Girardi said.

• Outfielder Darnell McDonald has been outrighted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.