Robinson Cano gave the New York Yankees yet another injury scare.
The second baseman hobbled off the field soon after being hit on the right leg by a pitch from Mets ace Matt Harvey in the first inning of the All-Star Game on Tuesday night at Citi Field in New York.
X-rays were negative, and Cano said it was a bruised quadriceps.
“It’s a little tight,” he said. “I came out of the game because I didn’t want to aggravate it. Nothing bad. They told me it’s a bruise, and ice the next few days.”
His leg wrapped near the knee, Cano said Yankees trainer Steve Donahue was called immediately.
When asked if he would play Friday in the opener of a series at Boston, Cano said: “Yeah, hopefully, yeah.”
The five-time All-Star was hit by a 96 mph fastball from Harvey. National League catcher Yadier Molina wrapped his arm around Cano, just in case. Always cool, Cano blew a bubble as he was checked out by the trainers. He then went to first base, but after a strikeout by Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera, Cano slowly limped across the infield in his shiny shoes and heard from Harvey.
“He said, ‘My bad,’ ” Cano said. “I said, ‘No problem.’ He didn’t want to hit anybody.”
Cano had been the steady star in a Yankees lineup ravaged by injuries to their expensive stars.
While Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Kevin Youkilis and Mark Teixeira have missed significant time in the first half of the season, Cano racked up a team-leading 21 homers and 65 RBIs, hitting .302.
HAIRY GOOD PERFORMANCE
For All-Stars, it appears that it’s hairier, the better.
According to a study done by STATS and grooming products maker Wahl, All-Stars with facial hair recently have performed on a higher level than their clean-shaven teammates in the Midsummer Classic.
Players sporting beards won the six All-Star Game MVP awards from 2007 to 2012. Meanwhile, entering Tuesday’s game, clean-shaven players had not connected in four years and 152 at-bats.
There’s also this: Before Tuesday, scruff-sporting sluggers over the previous 10 All-Star games hit .287 with a .441 slugging percentage. Smooth-skinned stars came in at .226 with a .382 slugging percentage.
So do guys such as bearded Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia think “fear the beard,” made famous by scraggly haired Giants closer Brian Wilson, really gives them the edge?
“No, no,” the 5-foot-8 second baseman said. “I’m pretty sure they don’t make you intimidating, either.”
BALFOUR REPRESENTS FOR AUSTRALIA, OAKLAND
Grant Balfour of the Athletics is only the second Australian player to be an All-Star.
The first was in 1999, when Brewers catcher Dave Nilsson was selected to the game in Boston. Balfour got the nod in part because he is perfect in 25 save attempts this season for the first-place A’s. He and starter Bartolo Colon were the only Oakland players selected.
“For the team, we would have liked to see more players here, no doubt,” Balfour said. “It didn’t work out that way. ... We’ve got a team, they can get fired up and go out and show it on the field.”
During pregame introductions, the public address announcer confused Rays teammates Ben Zobrist and Matt Moore. The two laughed about it. ... Mets Hall of Famer Tom Seaver threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He lined up on the rubber, then shuffled forward a few steps to laughs before throwing a wild one to Mets third baseman David Wright.