Corey Kluber exits with shoulder tightness as Yankees fall to Blue Jays

Corey Kluber exited early with shoulder tightness in the Yankees' 6-2 loss to the Blue Jays Tuesday night at the Stadium.

When the Yankees signed Corey Kluber this offseason, they knew it was a high-risk, high-reward move.

They received the reward last Wednesday, when Kluber pitched a no-hitter at Texas.

The risk showed up Tuesday, when Kluber lasted just three innings in the Yankees’ 6-2 loss to the Blue Jays at the Stadium before leaving with right shoulder tightness.

The Yankees announced the 35-year-old Kluber will be tested further on Wednesday, including an MRI exam.

The injury is especially worrisome because Kluber pitched just one inning last season for the Rangers before being sidelined with a strained right shoulder.

His early exit was just part of an ugly night for the Yankees, whose six-game winning streak was snapped. The Yankees got some shaky defense from Gleyber Torres and their lineup was shut down by former Met Steven Matz.

But Kluber is clearly at the top of the worry list after he’d had such a promising recent stretch.

Kluber walked three batters in the first two innings, then allowed a single to Bo Bichette with one out in the third.

Corey Kluber
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

After an errant pickoff throw to first sent Bichette to second, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. followed by hammering a two-run home run into the Yankees’ bullpen in right-center.

That gave Toronto a 2-0 lead and ended the Yankee rotation’s scoreless streak at 37 ¹/₃ innings.

The right-hander retired the next two batters to retire the side, but he was removed following the inning, after having thrown 58 pitches. Kluber was replaced by Michael King.

Kluber was dominant in his previous outing against the Rangers, when he retired all but one batter for his first career no-hitter. Kluber struck out nine in that 101-pitch performance.

In his five starts prior to Tuesday — including the no-hitter — Kluber had pitched to a 1.78 ERA.

The Yankees signed Kluber to a one-year, $11 million deal after he rehabbed with the organization’s director of player health and performance, Eric Cressey.

King limited Toronto to one run over three innings, on a solo homer by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in the fourth, but the Yankees’ offense never got going against Matz. The left-hander from Long Island struck out 10, walked none and allowed just one run in 6 ²/₃ innings.

The Yankees’ deficit grew larger against a Toronto team that had lost six straight entering Tuesday.

After Lucas Luetge entered in the seventh and loaded the bases by allowing three straight one-out singles, pinch-hitter Santiago Espinal hit a chopper towards short. Torres fielded the ball on the run and made an off-balance throw to the plate. The ball bounced away from Kyle Higashioka and two runs scored on the error.

The Yankees finally got to Matz in the seventh. Clint Frazier belted a two-out double to left-center and scored on Higashioka’s single to left to make it 5-1 and end Matz’s outing. Higashioka had been in a 3-for-38 skid before the hit.

Brett Gardner, facing right-hander Tyler Chatwood, walked, but Luke Voit hit a comebacker to end the threat.

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin

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