Yankees place ace pitcher Tanaka on disabled list

Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on June 8, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City

New York (AFP) – The New York Yankees placed Japanese pitching ace Masahiro Tanaka on the 10-day disabled list on Saturday with mild strains of his left and right hamstrings.

Tanaka felt the muscles tighten up as he ran the bases on Friday night in the Yankees’ 4-1 victory over the New York Mets in the opening game of their Subway Series.

Tanaka, normally not called upon to hit in American League ballparks, scored the first major league run of his career when he crossed the plate standing up in the sixth inning on Aaron Judge’s sacrifice fly.

But he walked gingerly to the dugout and didn’t return to pitch the bottom of the sixth inning.

“You don’t worry about that going into the game,” Tanaka said. “I am surprised it happened.”

The injury ended a solid night on the mound for Tanaka, who surrendered a leadoff homer to Brandon Nimmo but then retired 12 straight batters. He struck out eight, giving up one run on one hit in five innings.

Tanaka’s trip to the disabled list follows the team’s announcement on Tuesday that left-handed hurler Jordan Montgomery would require Tommy John elbow ligament surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The Yankees aren’t the only team with pitcher injuries to worry about.

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani, also Japanese, is facing three weeks on the sidelines with a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow.

The Washington Nationals said on Saturday that they would place pitcher Stephen Strasburg on the disabled list after an MRI revealed inflammation in his right shoulder.

Strasburg left his start against the San Francisco Giants after two innings on Friday.