Nomar Mazara was surprised to find himself in the field for each weekend game against the New York Yankees after being forced out of a game Wednesday at Atlanta because of soreness in his left quadriceps.
He was at designated hitter Monday, though, after a busy Sunday in right field that saw him make several long runs for Yankees fly balls and bloopers. His leg felt fine entering the game, but he wasn’t able to give his normal effort.
“I ran a lot yesterday, so it got tired a little bit,” Mazara said. “On a normal day, I get to those balls. I started feeling it a bit. They started hitting all those shallow fly balls, and I didn’t want to run hard because I was scared. I felt it, and I didn’t want to make it worse. That’s what the trainers told me.”
The more able-bodied Shin-Soo Choo was the right fielder in the opener against the Seattle Mariners, and Mazara served as the DH for the eighth time this season. Joey Gallo was at first base as Mike Napoli sat to give his body a day’s rest.
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Right-hander Keone Kela threw his scheduled bullpen session, his fourth on the comeback trail from shoulder soreness, and will be evaluated Tuesday. If all goes well, he could come off the disabled list Wednesday.
Mazara said that he first started dealing with the quad soreness Sept. 3 but had two days off before playing in both ends of Wednesday’s doubleheader. He scored from first base in Game 2, with an awkward play at the plate, and then was forced to make a long running catch in the next half-inning.
That did it for him, and he thought he might have a DH day or two over the weekend. Instead, it came Monday, and he doubled in two runs in his first at-bat.
“If I’m in the lineup, I’m going to give whatever I’ve got that day to help the team,” Mazara said. “You’re not going to feel good the whole season. Sometimes you’ve got to be able to play through it.”