Joba exits; X-rays on knee negative
Girardi 'hopeful' righty won't miss start after liner strikes leg
NEW YORK -- A fist pump turned out to be the least of Joba Chamberlain's concerns.
The Yankees right-hander experienced an abbreviated outing against the Orioles on Thursday, suffering a bruised right knee courtesy of a sharp Adam Jones line drive in the top of the first inning at Yankee Stadium.
"It hit my glove, but it was hit so hard that it's one of those things that you just react," Chamberlain said.
Chamberlain was making his first start against the Orioles since Aubrey Huff derisively gestured after hitting a May 10 home run at Camden Yards, but speculation about any possible retaliation took an immediate back seat when Chamberlain was hunched over on the infield in pain.
The game started with a strikeout of Brian Roberts before Jones drilled a hard line drive back up the middle. The ball hit Chamberlain on the side of his leg and deflected near the mound, where he picked it up and threw to first base for the forceout.
"Adam's doing a great job of hitting," Chamberlain said. "He struck a ball well up the middle, and it came off right away. It was in front of me, so I was worried about getting the out. When I stood up after I made the out, it was a little stiff."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi and trainer Gene Monahan attended to Chamberlain on the field and initially allowed him to stay in the game after several warmup pitches.
But Chamberlain then allowed a single to Nick Markakis and another hit to Huff before limping as he covered third base, drawing Girardi and Monahan back to the field to remove Chamberlain.
"I was concerned when he got hit, because when a guy gets hit there in the leg, right away you can't tell if it's off the kneecap," Girardi said. "It's probably fortunate that he got a little bit of glove on it."
Chamberlain was relieved by right-hander Alfredo Aceves, who hurled 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to log his third victory in New York's 7-4 win.
Girardi said that Chamberlain would be considered day-to-day and that there was a "good chance" he would make his next start, scheduled for Tuesday against the Rangers in Texas.
"I'm hopeful he'll be able to make his next start," Girardi said. "When we went out there the first time, it looked like he pushed off fine. When we saw him run, that's what concerned me and that's why we took him out. We figured it was just going to get sore."
Chamberlain said he considered himself lucky, recalling how former teammate Jeff Karstens suffered a broken leg on a similar play in 2007 against the Red Sox. Chamberlain did not appear to be limping as he left Yankee Stadium in street clothes.
"It's one of those situations where you look best-case, worst-case," Chamberlain said. "In this case, it happens to be on the good side."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.