TORONTO — New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira left Friday’s game against the Blue Jays in the bottom of the second inning with a strained right hamstring.
The Yankees fell behind 3-2 after two innings before chipping their way to a 7-3 victory over Toronto.
Teixeira was escorted off the field by Yankees trainer Steve Donohue after he tried to make a play on a foul grounder by Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera. Television replays showed Teixeira reaching for his hamstring as he left the dugout.
Kelly Johnson moved from second base to first and Brian Roberts came in to play second.
The RailRiders first baseman is Hazleton native Russ Canzler.
If Canzler would get the call, he would have to be added to New York’s 40-man roster and the Yankees would have to either designate someone for assignment or move infielder Brendan Ryan to the 60-day disabled list to make room. Another infield option from the RailRiders is Scott Sizemore, but he also was signed to a minor league deal and is not on the 40-man roster either.
Teixeira was limited to 15 games last season because of a right wrist injury suffered at the World Baseball Classic. He entered play Friday hitting .182 with no home runs and one RBI through three games, but had an RBI single in his only at-bat.
Masahiro Tanaka got a startling welcome to the major leagues when the Japanese star gave up a home run to Toronto’s Melky Cabrera on his third big league pitch.
Provided a 2-0 first-inning lead by the New York Yankees on Friday night, Tanaka began his career with a called strike on a 93 mph fastball. Cabrera took a slider, then sent a hanging changeup over the right-field wall as Ichiro Suzuki, another Japanese star, ran out of room.
Tanaka retired Colby Rasmus on a grounder to first, getting to the bag in time to take a relay throw from Teixeira. Tanaka followed by throwing a curveball past Jose Bautista for a called third strike, then got Edwin Encarnacion to strike out swinging on a slider.
The 25-year-old right-hander went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year as the Rakuten Golden Eagles won their first Japan Series title, then signed a $155 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees, who paid $20 million to Rakuten for his rights.