AP, NEW YORK
New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-Ming left Saturday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays with a strained right shoulder, putting his next start in jeopardy.
The Taiwanese, who missed time earlier this season with weakness in the adductor muscles in his hips, lasted six innings before going for an MRI that revealed the shoulder strain and bursitis.
“It was unfortunate because today was his best start,” said manager Joe Girardi, who wasn’t sure yet what the Yankees would do about Wang’s next turn in the rotation. “He’ll need some rest.”
The Yankees said they hoped the 29-year-old right-hander could return in a month.
Wang surrendered a two-run homer with one out in the sixth and threw a further pitch before catcher Jorge Posada motioned to the dugout that something was wrong.
Girardi and assistant trainer Steve Donohue came out to the mound and Wang headed for the dugout after a short discussion.
“Just the way he threw the ball,” Posada said. “It wasn’t like he followed through all the way through, kind of pushed it towards me.”
Wang also had shoulder problems in 2001 and 2005 but he said it was less painful this time and only bothered him on second to last pitch.
“On the home run pitch it felt a little tight but not pain,” he said.
“In ‘05, when I stretched my arm behind, it hurt,” Wang said through an interpreter. “This time, it’s different. I’m afraid if it takes surgery to repair, that would be the worst case. I hope that wouldn’t be the case.”
The Yankees could turn to Phil Hughes or Alfredo Aceves if Wang can’t make his next start. Hughes worked a perfect eighth inning as New York beat Toronto 6-5 in 12 innings.
Wang struggled at the beginning of the season but had looked better of late, earning his first win of the season in his previous outing and pitching at least five innings in each of his past four starts.
Wang, who won 38 games from 2006 to 2007, is 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA in 12 games, nine starts, this season.
Posada hit a game-winning single in the 12th inning.
With one out and runners on first and second, Posada lined a pitch into center field. Alex Rodriguez scored without a play at the plate.
The Yankees have won nine of 10 to move a season-best 14 games above .500 and pull within a game of AL East-leading Boston.
Toronto has lost six of seven.
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