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J.A. Happ goes on DL with hand, foot and mouth disease, won’t pitch against Red Sox

Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ looks on from the

Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ looks on from the dugout against the Royals at Yankee Stadium on July 28. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

BOSTON — J.A. Happ trying to improve on his good career numbers against the Red Sox will have to wait.

The 35-year-old lefthander, acquired by the Yankees last week from the Blue Jays, was placed on the disabled list Thursday after contracting hand, foot and mouth disease.

“Just in the last couple of days, some increase in some of the symptoms,” Aaron Boone said. “The blistering you get from this, it hasn’t died down yet, so he’s still in that viral stage of things.”

Happ, 7-4 with a 2.98 ERA in his career vs. Boston, which includes an 0.84 ERA in two starts against the Red Sox this season while with Toronto, was slated to start Saturday at Fenway.

Boone said the Yankees had not made up their mind on who would start in Happ’s place. With righty Lance Lynn likely to take the demoted Sonny Gray’s spot in the rotation — Gray’s next turn would have been Monday in Chicago against the White Sox — righty Luis Cessa seemed likely to get the nod Saturday.

But that possibility got wiped out after Cessa, who was recalled from the minors earlier in the day and will likely be optioned back Friday, allowed five runs over 3 2⁄3 innings in Thursday’s 15-7 loss.

Afterward Boone said the club was discussing its options for Saturday but said whomever they go with, that pitcher isn’t on the current 25-man roster.

Top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield pitched on Thursday, taking him out of consideration, meaning a possible opportunity for another organizational prospect, Chance Adams.

Lynn is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in five career starts against Boston, which include two games this season in which he allowed one earned run in 11 innings, but the righthander threw 4 1⁄3 scoreless innings in relief of Gray on Wednesday.

Happ, who won his first start as a Yankee, was sent home Tuesday after being diagnosed with the virus. The Yankees were initially optimistic Happ would be able to pitch Saturday, but his condition didn’t improve enough.

“He is feeling better . . . but wasn’t probably going to legitimately be able to be around our team until it completely runs its course and he’s not at that point yet,” Boone said.

New York Sports