Curtis Granderson breaks left pinkie in 9-4 win
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Curtis Granderson's return lasted eight games.
The outfielder, who missed the first 38 games of the season with a broken right forearm, suffered a broken left pinkie -- officially a fractured left fifth metacarpal -- in the Yankees' 9-4 win over the Rays Friday night.
"It's sad,'' Robinson Cano said, reflecting the overall mood in the clubhouse regarding the setback. "The last thing you want to see is one of your teammates go down, especially a guy like Grandy. He made his way back here after the injury in spring training, played a few games, then gets hurt like that. You feel bad.''
Granderson, who hit .269 with one homer and one RBI after being reinstated from the disabled list May 14, was hit on the left hand by lefthander Cesar Ramos in the fifth inning.
"Heartbreaking,'' said David Phelps, himself knocked from the game in the eighth when he was hit in the right forearm by a line drive. Phelps, however, appears as if he won't miss any significant time. X-rays came back negative and he was diagnosed with a bruised right forearm.
Granderson, Joe Girardi said, figures to be out a minimum of four weeks, though it likely will be more than that.
The outfielder, who described the place of the injury as "below the knuckle but above the wrist,'' is expected to stay with the team through the weekend. He'll see the team doctor on Monday to get a better idea of the timeframe for how long he'll be out.
"It's unfortunate,'' Girardi said. "You get hit your first at-bat of spring training and then play for a week and get hit again. It's probably not what he had in mind this year.''
Granderson, hit by J.A. Happ Feb. 24, called the two injuries "crazy'' but didn't engage in self-pity. "You can't really get too frustrated one way or the other or hang your head down,'' said Granderson, who hit 84 homers the previous two years and homered, doubled and singled Wednesday. "Keep your head up. It's done . . . I bounced back from that one [the forearm]. I'll bounce back from this. You look at all the positives from everything. It's a better break than the previous one.''
Phelps (3-2, 3.96 ERA), though frustrated about having to leave the game, considered himself fortunate after being hit by Ben Zobrist's line drive. Phelps, who allowed four runs and six hits after retiring the first 13 Rays batters, spiked his glove to the ground in frustration and immediately was replaced by Boone Logan.
Phelps later was asked if he is concerned about making his next start. "Not at all,'' he said.
He added, "If it's an inch to the right or a couple of inches down, it hits me either in the bone or right on the elbow. It's one of those things, it could have been a lot worse. I'm very fortunate my guardian angel is looking out for me.''
The Yankees (29-18) had 11 hits, with the bottom four batters in the order -- David Adams, Lyle Overbay, Jayson Nix and Chris Stewart -- going 8-for-18 with six runs and five RBIs. Nix had a triple and Overbay contributed a two-run double. Brett Gardner added a two-out, two-run homer for the Yankees, who batted around twice.
The Yankees have 10 players on the disabled list, and Granderson will make it 11 when he's officially put on the DL Saturday. With the Yankees down an outfielder, Brennan Boesch is a primary candidate to be recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
"I think our team has had a lot of practice at it this year,'' Girardi said of the first-place Yankees overcoming injuries. "So they're prepared for this, unfortunately. But these guys know how to deal with it and know you have to come out and play every day.''
Overbay, hitless in his previous nine at-bats, got ahead of Roberto Hernandez 3-and-0 in the second and was given the green light, smashing a two-run double for a 2-0 lead. He scored on Nix's single.
After Gardner's homer made it 5-0, Nix drew a bases-loaded walk off Ramos in the fifth. Stewart added an RBI single and Cano was grazed by a pitch to make it 8-0.
James Loney's one-out double in the bottom of the fifth broke up Phelps' perfect game.
Jose Lobaton and Yunel Escobar began the sixth with singles and Matt Joyce made it three straight hits with an RBI double. Zobrist's RBI grounder and Luke Scott's sacrifice fly made it 8-3.
Nix tripled with one out in the seventh off Jamey Wright -- his second career triple -- and scored on a wild pitch to give the Yankees a 9-3 lead. Kelly Johnson countered with a triple in the Rays' seventh and scored on Sam Fuld's sacrifice fly.