Dodgers' Yoshinobu Yamamoto exits start; IL 'high possibility'

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto could be heading to the injured list after he left his start Saturday night against the Kansas City Royals after two innings due to triceps tightness.

"It's a high possibility," manager Dave Roberts said after the Dodgers' 7-2 loss. "The next steps will be to consult with the doctors and see if he needs testing. Right now, we're going by what he is saying and feeling."

Yamamoto had his scheduled start Thursday against the Texas Rangers pushed back for extra rest because of the triceps tightness. The Japanese right-hander said through his interpreter that the tightness was gone for most of Saturday, but he did start feeling a bit of it again when he was warming up in the bullpen before the game.

"Obviously, he felt, we felt he could make the start," Roberts said. "We wouldn't pitch him if we felt he was going to put himself in harm's way."

Yamamoto said he did not feel like the injury was that serious until he started pitching in the game. He threw only 14 strikes on 28 pitches and allowed one hit and one walk with one strikeout.

"I did have tightness and I was aware of it [during the bullpen session], but it wasn't serious at that point. As I was pitching, it started growing," Yamamoto said. "I let coaches know, and we decided to pull me."

Yamamoto threw two-hit ball in seven innings at the New York Yankees on June 7. Yamamoto tossed 106 pitches in that game and had thrown over 100 in four consecutive starts until Saturday night.

"I don't think the last outing was related to this tightness, but it is more the recovery process," he said.

This is Yamamoto's first year in the majors after he signed a record 12-year, $325 million contract with the Dodgers in December. He is 6-2 with a 2.92 ERA.