New York Yankees starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) throws a...

New York Yankees starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) throws a pitch in the top of the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium. (June 11, 2011) Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

The New York Yankees placed Bartolo Colon on the disabled list Sunday with a strained right hamstring, the latest blow to an already ailing starting rotation.

Colon pulled up lame while covering first base on a routine grounder in a 4-0 win over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday. He had an MRI exam after the game and the decision was made to put the resurgent veteran on the disabled list.

“I feel good. I just have a little bit of pain,” Colon said through a translator before Sunday’s game. “I’m on the DL now, and hopefully I can pitch after that.”

The 38-year-old Colon is 5-3 with a 3.10 ERA, helping solidify a rotation that has lost Phil Hughes to a shoulder injury for most of the season.

“The MRI came back pretty good, so I’m not exactly sure what that means,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It was good they didn’t say it came back with a Grade 3 strain or something.”

Colon, a two-time All-Star who won 21 games for the Los Angeles Angels in 2005, didn’t pitch at all last season because of injuries. He was treated in April 2010 in the Dominican Republic with a procedure designed to regenerate tissue in his shoulder and elbow.

Whether the stem cell treatment, which is being scrutinized by Major League Baseball, is the reason for his sudden turnaround is unclear. But the portly pitcher has been terrific after earning a job in the rotation, going at least eight innings three times.

Colon even tossed a complete-game shutout against Oakland on May 30.

“I knew I was going to go on the DL,” Colon said of the moments after his injury. “I feel bad because I know our pitching needs some help, and now I can’t do that.”

The Yankees brought back outfielder Chris Dickerson from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre just two days after they optioned him. In an unrelated moved, New York also brought up Hector Noesi from Triple-A to replace reliever Amauri Sanit, who has an elbow problem.

The 24-year-old Noesi is expected to work from the bullpen, but has been stretched out to about 80 pitches, Girardi said, making him a candidate to start Thursday against Texas, Colon’s next turn in the rotation.

Noesi was 1-1 with a 3.92 ERA in four starts in the minors, and 1-0 with a 1.76 ERA in 15 1-3 innings of relief with New York earlier this season.

In other injury news, Alex Rodriguez was back in the starting lineup after getting hit on the hip by a pitch during Saturday’s game. He initially remained in the game, but said the hip tightened up during a cool, wet afternoon.

Catcher Russell Martin also was back in the lineup against Cleveland after missing four straight games because of a stiff back. Martin did some running, throwing and hitting at Yankee Stadium before the game and pronounced himself ready to play.

“Feeling good,” Martin said as he walked past his locker.

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