New York Yankees rookie ace Masahiro Tanaka, who leads Major League Baseball in wins, has been put on the disabled list with tightness in his pitching elbow, the team said Wednesday.
Tanaka had left the team, which is in Cleveland to play the Indians, to return to New York for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on his pitching arm. The team did not yet have test results, manager Joe Girardi told reporters.
Tanaka, 25, established himself as ace of the Yankees staff as he posted a 12-4 record with a 2.51 earned run average over his first 18 starts for New York and was named to next week's all-star game.
After an impeccable start to the season, the Japanese hurler has had a pair of lackluster outings.
The right-hander gave up 10 hits and five earned runs over 6 2/3 innings in a 5-3 loss to the Indians on Tuesday night. Tanaka also yielded four earned runs on July 3, after allowing no more than three runs in each of his first 16 starts.
"You just hope and pray that we get good news and it's something minor," outfielder Brett Gardner told reporters. "You worry about anybody, but he's pretty special, what he's been able to do the first half of the season."
VERDICT REACHED IN L.A. LAWSUIT
A jury on Wednesday found the Los Angeles Dodgers negligent in a 2011 stadium beating that left a baseball fan permanently disabled, ordering the team to pay him some $15 million in civil damages, but clearing the former club owner of liability in the case.
The Los Angeles Superior Court jury reached its verdict on the ninth day of deliberations over the lawsuit brought by Bryan Stow, a father of two and former paramedic from Northern California who was assaulted by two men after a season-opening game against the San Francisco Giants.
The six men and six women who heard the case had told the judge as recently as last week that they were unable to reach a verdict, but were ordered to continue deliberating.
The lawsuit alleged that the Dodgers and Frank McCourt, who was the team's owner at the time, were to blame for lax security at Dodger Stadium that Stow said created an unsafe atmosphere where criminals felt emboldened to prey on others.
But defense attorneys argued that blame lay instead with the two men, Louis Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, who pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the attack and were sentenced to prison terms of eight and four years, respectively.
The jury agreed the two men were mostly responsible for the harm caused to Stow but also found that the Dodgers as a team bore 25 percent of the responsibility.
SOX WORKING ON LESTER
The Boston Red Sox are continuing conversations that could lead to another offer to left-handed starter Jon Lester, ESPN.com reported Wednesday.
An ESPN.com source said those conversations are taking place at the ownership level.
Lester, 30, has maintained his preference that the Red Sox not reopen talks until after the season so the negotiations do not become a distraction.
The Red Sox reportedly made a four-year, $70-million offer in the spring, but Lester rejected it. He is in the final year of his contract.
Lester, who was named to the All-Star team, is 9-7 with a 2.73 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 122 innings over 18 starts this season.
SOX DESIGNATE PIERZYNSKI
A.J. Pierzynski will be designated for assignment by the Boston Red Sox, who have 10 days to trade, waive or release the 17-year veteran catcher.
Pierzynski was acquired as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, signing a one-year, $8.25-million contract.
A two-time all-star, Pierzynski played for the San Francisco Giants, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers.
He is batting .254 in 72 games this season with 15 extra-base hits and 31 RBIs. He is a .300 hitter in 30 career postseason games, and had three home runs and drove in nine runs in 2005 as a member of the World Series champion White Sox.
The Red Sox are reportedly shopping other veterans, including right-handed pitcher Jake Peavy, ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.