NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez went on the disabled list with a strained left calf Saturday, taking one of the most potent bats out of the Yankees' lineup just as the AL East pennant race really starts to heat up.
Rodriguez returned to the lineup for Friday night's series opener against the Mariners after missing three games with the calf injury. He aggravated the injury in his first at-bat, then watched the rest of the game from the dugout.
Manager Joe Girardi said before Saturday's game that he hoped Rodriguez would avoid time on the DL. General manager Brian Cashman met with team doctors and trainers later in the day, and they decided it was best to be cautious.
"He's not any worse than he was before," Girardi said. "We're just going to play it safe and know we'll have a player in 15 days. We just all felt, you know what? It's in the best interest to put him on the DL."
RHP Ivan Nova will be brought up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to start on Monday at Toronto. The Yankees will push back the rest of their rotation one day.
Girardi already had planned to be without Rodriguez for the rest of the series against Seattle, along with a three-game set at Toronto, where the three-time MVP has a hard time with the artificial turf at the Rogers Center. He aggravated his hip flexor there in June and missed four games.
A day off is scheduled for Thursday, before New York wraps up a road trip with three games at the White Sox.
New York entered Saturday's games with a one-game lead over the Rays in the East.
Rodriguez, 35, has struggled, by his standards, hitting .265 with a .333 on-base percentage and a .485 slugging percentage. Those numbers would be his worst since he was a rookie in 1995, when he was 19 at the start of the season and played in 48 games.
CUBS: RHP Carlos Silva is scheduled to throw a simulated game today as he recovers from surgery for an irregular heartbeat. He's expected to make minor-league rehabilitation starts before being activated.
D'BACKS: LHP Mike Hampton, the former Citrus High standout, signed a minor-league contract. General manager Jerry DiPoto said the oft-injured Hampton, 38, will be used as a reliever.
MARINERS: Casey Kotchman, a former Seminole High standout, had his 274-game errorless streak end in the eighth against the Yankees, the longest streak by a first baseman in the majors.
MARLINS: RHP Ricky Nolasco was scratched from today's start with a right knee injury and may have a torn meniscus, MLB.com reported. Nolasco was wearing a brace on the knee in the clubhouse. The Miami Herald reported the team has held preliminary talks with Nolasco about a contract extension.
PHILLIES: All-Star 1B Ryan Howard was activated from the disabled list after one rehabilitation game, three weeks after he sprained his left ankle.
RANGERS: 2B Ian Kinsler, on the 15-day DL since July 29 with a left groin strain, reported no ill effects a day after a stationary workout. He is scheduled for an MRI exam Monday.
RED SOX: 1B Carlos Delgado, signed to a minor-league contract two weeks ago in the hope he might contribute in September, went on the seven-day DL at Triple-A Pawtucket with a sore back.
TIGERS: Manager Jim Leyland said RF Magglio Ordonez could miss the rest of the season with a fractured right ankle that placed him on the DL on July 25. "We are all at the mercy on how it is healing," Leyland said. "This year is pretty much done for him, unfortunately for him and unfortunately for us."
TWINS: RHP Kevin Slowey and LHP reliever Ron Mahay went on the DL. Slowey left the game against the Angels after the third with a strained right triceps muscle. Mahay left in the sixth when he stumbled, fell and strained his right shoulder.