Baseball

Strained calf puts A-Rod on 15-day disabled list

Alex Rodriguez was placed on the disabled list with a strained left calf on Saturday, taking one of the most potent bats out of the New York Yankees' lineup just as the American League East pennant race really starts to heat up.

Rodriguez returned to the lineup for Friday night’s series opener against the Seattle Mariners after missing three games with the calf injury. The slugger aggravated it in his first at-bat, then watched the rest of the game from the dugout.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Saturday’s game that he hoped A-Rod would avoid a stint on the DL. General manager Brian Cashman met with team doctors and trainers later in the day, and they decided that it was best to be cautious.

“He’s not any worse than he was before, we’re just going to play it safe and know we’ll have a player in 15 days,” Girardi said. “We just all felt, you know what? It’s in the best interest to put him on the DL.”

Right-hander Ivan Nova will be brought up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to start on Monday at Toronto. The Yankees will push back the rest of their rotation one day.

STRASBURG HURT

Nationals rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg left his start against the Phillies in the fifth inning with a strained tendon in his right forearm.

Strasburg grabbed his right wrist and shook it after a pitch to Dominic Brown. Manager Jim Riggleman immediately left the dugout to check on his ace.

Strasburg left with one out in the fifth inning. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said the young pitcher would have an MRI test today.

SHORT HOPS

Philadelphia activated first baseman Ryan Howard from the disabled list, three weeks after he sprained his left ankle. To make room for Howard, outfielder Ross Gload was placed on the DL. … Left fielder Manny Ramirez, who has spent almost as much time on the disabled list this season as he has on the field, was activated by the Dodgers. … Arizona signed left-hander Mike Hampton to a minor league contract. General manager Jerry DiPoto says Hampton will be used as a reliever even though he has spent much of his career as a starter. The oft-injured 38-year-old will be assigned to Triple-A Reno. … The Minnesota Twins placed starter Kevin Slowey and reliever Ron Mahay on the disabled list after both were injured Saturday.

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