The Yankees placed Zack Britton on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain before Thursday’s game — and before the sun had set, they had two more candidates for the IL.
Gleyber Torres was forced to leave the game with left hamstring tightness suffered while he ran to first base in the third inning. Starting pitcher James Paxton was sent for an MRI after the game with discomfort in the elbow-forearm area.
Britton joins a list of key Yankees currently on the IL. Giancarlo Stanton has a left hamstring strain, Aaron Judge has a mild strain of his right calf and DJ LeMahieu is shelved by a left thumb sprain.
Judge could return as early as Saturday and appears on track to do so. He did short-burst running drills and also ran the bases Thursday. LeMahieu said Wednesday that he was told the injury he suffered last weekend will require two to three weeks to heal. Stanton could be out at least a couple more weeks.
Britton got an MRI in the morning and went on the IL shortly afterward. He may have injured himself while covering first base at the start of the eighth inning in Wednesday night’s loss, and Aaron Boone said he felt it on the last few pitches before being removed.
Britton allowed two runs in the eighth as the Rays pulled away from a tie at 2 for a 4-2 win Wednesday. As he came off the mound while being taken out, he reached for the back of his left leg and seemed to grimace. The reliever was not available postgame as he was being examined by the medical staff.
Britton’s appearance on Wednesday night was his first back in the role as a primary setup man for Aroldis Chapman. The closer was on the IL after testing positive for COVID-19 and was activated on Monday. During his absence, Britton was 8-for-8 in save opportunities.
Voit homers again
Luke Voit’s solo homer in the first gave him four straight games with a home run. He has a 10-game hitting streak in which he has batted .405 with six home runs and 13 RBIs.
Losing it quickly
When the Rays figure out James Paxton, they do it in a hurry.
On Thursday, he held them hitless for 4 1/3 innings, allowing only a walk and striking out eight. Then, in a span of five batters, he allowed two walks, a two-run double, a walk and a sacrifice fly as the Rays took a brief 3-2 lead.
Entering the seventh inning against the Rays on Aug. 9, Paxton had allowed one hit and one walk with 11 strikeouts and the Yankees held a three-run lead. Then, in a span of eight pitches, he allowed a double, a two-run homer and a solo shot that tied the score.
The Yankees optioned infielder/outfielder Miguel Andujar to the team’s alternate site. Righthander Ben Heller and righthander Miguel Yajure were recalled from the alternate site.