The Texas Rangers are again having to be cautious with their new ace.
Jacob deGrom was off to a spectacular start in the Rangers’ 5-2 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night before he left in the fourth inning because of forearm tightness. It was the second time in three games the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner exited early because of injury concerns.
Jacob deGrom exits start after meeting with Rangers’ athletic trainer
“Just being cautious here,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’ll evaluate him tomorrow, and see how he feels.”
deGrom, who didn’t talk to media after the game, retired his first 10 batters and had a 5-0 lead before he walked Anthony Rizzo with one out in the fourth. deGrom had thrown only 10 balls to the first 10 batters, but after the walk got a full count on Gleyber Torres before his flyout.
Then ahead 0-2 on Willie Calhoun, deGrom threw a 96.6 mph fastball that sailed outside for a ball. The pitcher reached for his left side, then followed with an 89.4 mph slider. His 50th and slowest pitch of the night was outside, and Calhoun lined an opposite-field single to left.
Athletic trainer Jacob Newburn and pitching coach Mike Maddux went to the mound, and Maddux summoned Bochy and met with the manager in foul territory. Bochy then went to the mound and deGrom walked to the dugout while Dane Dunning (2-0) was called in from the bullpen.
“He was throwing great,” Bochy said. “It was Jacob as we know, and it just started to tighten up there a little bit.”
Robbie Grossman hit a two-run homer and doubled twice for Texas, which had lost a season-high four games in a row. Marcus Semien and Jonah Heim each had RBI doubles.
Rangers’ Robbie Grossman rips a two-run homer to right field for a commanding 5-0 lead over the Yankees
The Yankees played their first game this season without captain Aaron Judge. The reigning AL MVP had tests on his sore right hip Friday, a day after exiting the series opener midway through the fourth inning because of hip discomfort.
While the Yankees were still waiting for team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad to review the results, manager Aaron Boone didn’t discount the possibility of Judge going on the injured list.
“It doesn’t seem too serious. But that said, we don’t, we still don’t have a clear picture of it yet,” Boone said after the game. “It seems like it could it could be day to day, but it also could be a short (IL) stint.”
Yankees starter Clarke Schmidt (0-3) struck out eight in his five innings, but allowed five runs and 10 hits — six of them to left-handed batters, who are hitting .385 against him this year.
deGrom exited his start April 17 at Kansas City after four no-hit innings because of right wrist soreness. Five games later, he made his next scheduled start and struck out 11 on 80 pitches over six innings in a win at Oakland that came before facing the Yankees for the first time since 2018.
Before signing a $185 million, five-year contract with the Rangers in December, deGrom was spent his first nine big league seasons with the Mets. He was plagued by injures that limited him to 156 1/3 innings the past two seasons, and Texas was cautious with him after he reported tightness in his left side before the team’s first scheduled workout of spring training, though he still was ready to start opening day.
Dunning, the first of three relievers, allowed two runs and three hits over 3 1/3 innings. He worked 4 1/3 scoreless innings when deGrom left the Royals game.
Will Smith worked the ninth for his third save.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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