NEW YORK – A’s third baseman Danny Valencia left Wednesday’s game with a strained left hamstring after being thrown out at home plate in the top of the fourth.
It's a mild strain, Valencia said following Oakland's 5-2 victory over the Yankees. He hurt his leg more popping up from his slide than he did running down the line.
"I’ve tweaked my hamstrings here and there and recovered pretty decently," he said. "I don’t see it being a thing that should be a prolonged time. I mean, hopefully. I’ll know more probably tomorrow when I wake up. I know I wouldn’t be able to play (Thursday) the way I feel right now.”
The turn of events left the A’s without a designated hitter, as Jed Lowrie – who started as the DH -- took over at second so Chris Coghlan could shift from second to take over for Valencia at third base.
With one out in the fourth, Valencia tagged up from third on Yonder Alonso’s fly to left and was thrown out at home on Aaron Hicks’ strong throw to the plate. Valencia appeared a bit hobbled heading back to the dugout.
The odd turn of events led to A’s starting pitcher Kendall Graveman becoming the first pitcher to ever come to bat in the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009. Graveman struck out swinging to strand two runners on in the fifth. In the process, he also became the first A’s starter to bat in an American League game since Ken Holtzman in 1975, according to a tweet from Bay Area stats guru David Feldman.
The A's don't have a pure backup infielder right now. In the event that Valencia hit the disabled list, one player the A's might consider from Triple-A Nashville is Tyler Ladendorf, who is on the 40-man roster, has the ability to play all over the infield and has experience with the big league club from last season.