Vazquez was scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday against the Rangers because of pink eye, which has bothered the right-hander for nearly a week. He remained in New York on Tuesday and could rejoin the team for its series next week in Minnesota.
“It’s just something that hasn’t gone away,” manager Joe Torre said. “He’s feeling better, but he’s frustrated by being shut down because he wants to pitch.”
Sturtze will be making his first start since allowing two runs in three innings of New York’s 11-10 loss to Boston on July 24 that featured a bench clearing brawl. Sturtze injured his pinky during the melee and was suspended for three games by the league for his involvement in the fight.
The veteran righty has pitched twice out of the bullpen since, yielding five runs—three earned—and five hits in four innings.
Sturtze will try to get the Yankees back on track after a 7-1 loss to Texas on Tuesday.
Ryan Drese pitched seven shutout innings and former Yankee Alfonso Soriano doubled twice and scored three times for the Rangers. David Dellucci, another former Yankee, and Mark Teixeira both hit two-run homers to help the Rangers end a season-high four-game losing streak.
“Certainly the stars were aligned for us tonight,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said.
New York thirdbaseman Alex Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with two strikeouts and drew a chorus of boos each time he came to the plate in his latest trip back to Arlington.
Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield was taken out of the game in the bottom of the eighth after complaining of pain in his left shoulder. He said the discomfort started after striking out in the sixth and got progressively worse.
“I reached out for a pitch, and my hands got away from my body. Sometimes you can’t avoid it,” said Sheffield, who went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. “Sometimes in the middle of the game you get a stab.”
Sheffield, who’s had bursitis in his shoulder all season, said he might consider having another cortisone shot.
“I have to think about it. The last shot didn’t help. Maybe they have to up the dosage,” he said.