Carlos Beltran was put on the 15-day DL due to a strained oblique

Carlos Beltran during his press conference at Yankee Stadiumon December 13th, 2013.  Credit Anthony J. Causi

Carlos Beltran during his press conference at Yankee Stadiumon December 13th, 2013. Credit Anthony J. Causi

On Friday afternoon, the Yankees placed Carlos Beltran on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 1. He is on the DL due to a left oblique stain. Taylor Dugas who was surprisingly called up to the Yankees on Wednesday, was sent back down to Triple-A Scranton.

Beltran now joins Jacoby Ellsbury on the disabled list, which means that two out of their three Opening Day outfielders are on the DL. They will need Chris Young to continue hitting like he has been. In Beltran’s 66 games played this season (242 at-bats), he has a .260 average with seven homers, 18 doubles, 21 runs scored and 30 RBIs.

He has really improved over the last two months as he only had a .162 average at the end of April. After not hitting any homers and only driving in 12 runs in his first 26 games of the season, he went on to hit seven homers and drive 14 runs in his next 31 games. Beltran, who is 38, is batting .306 with a .500 slugging percentage and .883 OPS in his last 21 games.

The Yankees have recalled both middle infielder Gregorio Petit and outfielder Ramon Flores from the Scranton RailRiders. Flores, who has a very strong arm in left field, threw out a few runners at home while appearing in 10 games earlier this season. He had a .250 average with three runs scored and a double in his 28 at-bats. In his 225 at-bats this season with the RailRiders (59 games), Flores has a .289 average with six homers, 24 RBIs and 32 runs scored.

Petit, who has gone back and forth between the Yankees to Triple-A this season, has played second and third this season. Petit, who is 30 and in his first year as a back-up infielder with the Yankees, has a .184 average with five RBIs and six runs scored in 38 at-bats this season. However he has hit much better while playing for Scranton this season as he has a .333 average in 42 at-bats with four RBIs and eight runs scored. He will mainly be relied upon to provide solid defense.

Neither Flores or Petit will get the start tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays, as the Yankees will play the same lineup as they did during Wednesday’s win against the Angels. The Rays and Toronto Blue Jays are both one game behind the Yankees (42-37) and Baltimore Orioles, who are both tied for first place in the very competitive AL East.

After this series, the Yankees will play three games against the Oakland Athletics (37-45) and then three games against the Red Sox (37-44) before the All-Star break. It is important that the Yankees win six or more games in this nine-game stretch because all three teams are either struggling or at least seven games under .500.

Here are the pitching matchups against the Rays, who have lost eight of their previous 10 games.

Tonight

RHP Masahiro Tanaka (4-3, 3.88)
vs.
RHP Chris Archer (9-5, 2.31)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

Saturday
RHP Michael Pineda (8-5, 4.08)
vs.
RHP Nathan Karns (4-4, 3.26)
1:05 p.m., FS1

Sunday
RHP Ivan Nova (1-1, 1.50 ERA)
vs.
RHP Erasmo Ramirez (6-3, 4.01)
1:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

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