DETROIT (AP) — All-Star catcher Gary Sánchez became the Yankees’ latest injury concern when he left the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader with left groin tightness as New York beat Detroit 6-4 to complete a sweep.
Sánchez exited in the fourth, an inning after he was thrown out in his first stolen base try this year. He has been on the injured list three times in the past two seasons because of groin strain.
Yankees slugger Edwin Encarnación left the first game with an oblique issue. The AL East leaders won that one 10-4.
CC Sabathia pitched into the fourth inning of the second game in his return from the injured list. Sabathia, who has dealt with right knee problems, allowed only one hit through the first three innings but gave up a two-run double to Brandon Dixon in the fourth. He threw 56 pitches in 3 1/3 innings before being relieved by Domingo Germán (18-4).
Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela each hit two-run homers for New York in the second game.
Spencer Turnbull (3-15) allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings.
Aroldis Chapman came on with one out in the ninth, a runner third and the score 6-3. He allowed an RBI infield single to John Hicks but was then able to close the game out for his 37th save in 42 chances.
Encarnación homered in the first game, then left in the fifth inning with a strained left oblique muscle. J.A. Happ, New York’s starter in the doubleheader opener, is also dealing with some health issues, although manager Aaron Boone didn’t sound too concerned about that.
Encarnación, New York’s designated hitter, had a two-run homer in the third, walked in the fifth and was pinch hit for by Mike Ford in the seventh.
“I guess he felt it in his first at-bat,” Boone said. “Obviously, he homered in his second at-bat. My understanding is that he was fine swinging, but it bothered him when he coughed.
“We hope it is minor, but we want to get it checked out.”
It’s been an injury-plagued season for the Yankees — slugger Giancarlo Stanton has played only nine games. Encarnación missed 30 games with a broken right wrist after he was hit by pitch from Boston’s Josh Smith on Aug. 3.
Happ entered Thursday with a 15 1/3-inning scoreless streak and pitched shutout ball until the fifth, when Dawel Lugo hit a two-run homer with two outs. Christin Stewart singled and Boone brought in Chad Green (4-4), who allowed one run over 2 1/3 innings against the team that drafted him in 2013. The Yankees said Happ had left biceps tendinitis and would return to New York to be examined.
“It has been an issue for the last few starts — maybe the last three to five,” Happ said. “It’s something I’ve been able to pitch through, but hopefully we can find something so I can get in my work in between starts.”
Boone stressed that Happ’s pitch count was the reason he didn’t finish the fifth inning, not the injury.
Luke Voit also homered for the Yankees in the first game. Detroit’s Matthew Boyd (8-11) gave up three earned runs, three hits and four walks in five innings.
Yankees: RHP Ben Heller pitched in the opener, his first big league appearance since Oct. 1, 2017. Heller had Tommy John surgery on April 6 last year and had a 0.66 ERA in 13 2/3 innings over 11 appearances during a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment. … New York reinstated LHP Stephen Tarpley (left elbow) from the IL.
Tigers: UT Niko Goodrum (groin) and CF JaCoby Jones (wrist) are both expected to miss the rest of the season.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (10-8) starts Friday’s series opener at Toronto.
Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (1-10) starts Friday against visiting Baltimore.