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Tanaka injured during rare trek on basepaths

The Associated Press

The New York Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka heads home to score on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning against the New York Mets on Friday at Citi Field.

The Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Standing off third base for the first time in his big league career, Masahiro Tanaka heard coach Phil Nevin yell for him to tag up when Aaron Judge lofted a flyball to Mets right fielder Jay Bruce in the sixth inning of Friday night’s Subway Series opener. The 29-year-old Yankees pitcher dashed home, needing 15 strides to cover the 18.3 meters to the plate as he tied the score with his first major league run.

It may have been a costly run.

Tanaka felt tightness in both hamstrings and was replaced before the bottom of the inning. The Yankees went on to win 4-1 behind Brett Gardner’s tiebreaking, two-run homer off Jacob deGrom on an eighth-inning changeup, and Giancarlo Stanton’s ninth-inning solo shot against Paul Sewald.

“I feel it right now,” Tanaka, speaking through a translator, said in front of his clubhouse stall a half-hour after the final out. “I think we’ll probably have a clearer picture tomorrow.”

The Yankees, a big league-best 41-18, already lost No. 5 starter Jordan Montgomery to Tommy John surgery on Thursday. Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA in 13 starts.

Tanaka allowed one hit, a home run into the second deck in right by Brandon Nimmo on his second pitch. Just 1-for-24 with a walk and a sacrifice at the plate in his big league career, he reached base when his grounder bounced off the heel of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez’s glove for an error. Tanaka took second on Gleyber Torres’ single and advanced when Gardner walked.

“It was shallow, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to go or not,” Tanaka said of Judge’s opposite-field fly.

Tanaka was given an IV after he came out and may be sent for MRIs on Saturday. Manager Aaron Boone wasn’t sure whether Tanaka would miss a start.

“I could see it being either way,” Boone said. “If it’s cramping and that kind of thing, then maybe you dodge a bullet there. But we could look at it tomorrow, and it could be more severe.”Speech

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