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USATSI

Saturday at Tropicana Field, the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays split a pair of seven-inning games during a doubleheader. The Yankees won the afternoon game behind Gerrit Cole (NYY 8, TB 4) while the Rays turned nine walks into a win in the nightcap (TB 5, NYY 3).

New York lost more than the game Saturday night. Giancarlo Stanton exited the second game of the doubleheader with tight left hamstring, the Yankees announced. Stanton suffered the injury while winning the bases in the fourth inning. He was replaced by pinch-hitter Mike Ford in the sixth inning.

"When he moved up on the wild pitch, that's where it tightened up on him," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said following Saturday night's game (per SNY). "We're gonna get it MRI'd, but it does look like it's an IL situation."  

Injuries limited Stanton to only 18 regular season games last year. The laundry list of injuries included biceps, shoulder, knee, and quad problems. Stanton suffered a calf injury in spring training this year and would've opened the season on the injured list had it started on time in March. The shutdown allowed him to be on the Opening Day roster.

The Yankees have limited Stanton to DH duty this year in part to keep him healthy, but also because they have four superior defensive outfielders on the roster (Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Mike Tauchman). Ford, Clint Frazier, and 2018 AL Rookie of the Year runner-up Miguel Andujar represent DH options should Stanton miss time.

Stanton, 30, is 12 for 41 (.293) with three home runs through 15 games this season. He went deep in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader. This is the sixth season on the massive 13-year, $325 million contract Stanton signed with the Marlins.