TORONTO — Saturday’s victory over the Blue Jays might have come with a cost for the Yankees.
How steep that might be is not yet clear.
Centerfielder Aaron Hicks left the game in the fifth inning after experiencing cramping in his left leg on a slide into second in the fourth. Then closer Aroldis Chapman, who has been dealing with tendinitis in his left knee since mid-May, left after striking out the first batter he faced in the ninth.
“I cramped up when I slid,” said Hicks, who spent time on the disabled list earlier in the season with a right intercostal muscle strain. “In the dugout, Aaron [Boone] said, ‘We’re not going to chance it.’”
Boone said that with a doubleheader looming Monday in Baltimore, he probably will give Hicks Sunday off.
Chapman, who is likely to be picked as an All-Star on Sunday, struck out Randal Grichuk to start the ninth but said he felt pain in his left knee upon landing on the final pitch of the at-bat.
“A little more discomfort today than what I usually have been feeling the last couple weeks,” he said through his translator. “Today was a little worse. Just go day by day and keep doing the rehab work with the trainers and hopefully keep getting better.”
Chapman, who said he felt some discomfort in the bullpen while warming up, would not say definitively that a few days off the knee would help.
“Day by day is the focus,” he said. “See how I feel tomorrow.”
Shoulder issue for Loaisiga
Jonathan Loaisiga, who had a 3.00 ERA in four big-league starts in place of Masahiro Tanaka and who likely would have started one of Monday’s doubleheader games in Baltimore, has right shoulder inflammation and could be DL-bound. He’ll be evaluated Monday by team physician Christopher Ahmad, Boone said.
CC Sabathia is slated to start the first game of the doubleheader. Luis Cessa probably will get the nod in the second.
Rehab games in sight for Sanchez
Gary Sanchez (right groin strain) caught Tanaka’s bullpen session on Saturday and is slated to take batting practice at some point in Baltimore this week.
Boone said the “best-case scenario” in his mind is Sanchez starting a rehab assignment a week from Sunday.
“He’s not feeling anything anymore,” Boone said. “He’s getting close to really ramping [baseball activity] up and hopefully gets a couple of rehab games in [during the All-Star break] with the idea that he’d be starting with us when we come out of the break.”
Sabathia was ejected for the fourth time in his big-league career, and for the first time since 2015, after objecting to a called third strike by Lance Barrett on Kyle Higashioka in the third inning. Said Boone, “I thought it was a quick hook.” . . . The Yankees recalled Clint Frazier from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and designated righthander David Hale for assignment before Saturday’s game. Hale pitched five scoreless innings of relief before allowing a run in the eighth Friday.