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Yankees place Kelly Johnson on 15-day DL

Infielder out after straining groin in Tuesday's extra-innings win
07/23/2014 2:14 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Kelly Johnson was injured running out a ground ball in the 10th inning of Tuesday's win.(AP)
The New York Yankees placed Kelly Johnson on the disabled list with a strained left groin Wednesday, and replaced him on the active roster by selecting RHP Chris Leroux from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

RHP Bruce Billings was also designated for assignment to open a 40-man roster spot for Leroux.

Johnson, who started Tuesday night's game in right field, left the game prior to the top of the 11th inning after appearing to tweak his groin running out a ground ball in the 10th. He actually had taken the field defensively, but after a consultation with manager Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue, he was replaced by Ichiro Suzuki and later sent for an MRI, which revealed the strain.

He is hitting just .219 with six homers and 22 RBI in 77 games this season, but Johnson's loss is rather untimely; Mark Teixeira is sidelined with a slight strain of his left lat muscle, and with nominal backup first baseman Johnson now on the disabled list, first base duties will likely fall to catchers Brian McCann (who made his third start and eighth appearance there Tuesday night) and Francisco Cervelli (who has made two starts there this season) or perhaps rookie Zelous Wheeler.

Of the active roster, Carlos Beltran (one appearance on April 13) and Brendan Ryan (four appearances) have also filled in at first base for the Yankees this year, and newcomer Chase Headley has two innings of experience at the position while with San Diego in 2012.

Leroux, 30, has spent most of this season at Triple-A, going 2-2 with a 5.08 ERA in six starts for the RailRiders. He was with the Yankees briefly early in the season and made two appearances, both at Yankee Stadium; the first was a scoreless ninth inning against Seattle on April 29, and the second saw him allow five runs in the 14th inning of a 10-5 loss to the Rays on May 3.

While his promotion leaves the bench a little short, it does bolster a Yankees bullpen that saw all seven of its current members pitch in Tuesday night's 14-inning win and has already collectively thrown 19 1/3 innings in five games since the All-Star break.

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