- Wallace Matthews, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- OK, so it's not exactly as bad as Nick Johnson hurting himself in the whirlpool, but the injury Travis Hafner suffered Wednesday night -- a bruise on the top of his left foot when the pitching machine in the Yankee Stadium batting cage went haywire and fired one down and in -- certainly goes into the Freak Injury Hall of Fame.
Hafner, as is his habit, was taking some swings before his scheduled at-bat in the sixth inning of Wednesday night's 8-1 Yankees win and decided to crank the machine "as high as it goes, up to 95 or 100 [mph]," he said.
New York Yankees
"When you set it that high, the ball moves all over the place," he said. "One ball just took off, and I foul tipped it or whatever, and I squared up my left foot pretty good."
Hafner was sent for an X-ray, which came back negative, and says he thinks he will be able to play in Thursday's series finale with the Royals, although he left the clubhouse with his foot heavily wrapped and his left sneaker unlaced.
Even in a season with as many injuries as this one, Hafner's boo-boo took manager Joe Girardi by surprise. "You don’t get summoned to the cage very often because somebody's got an injury," he said.
"This is a first," Hafner agreed. "I probably won’t hit off it anymore. Now I know why they call it The Humbler."
• Brett Gardner also left the game early, after the seventh inning, one inning after being hit by J.C. Gutierrez on the right shin. He, too, went for an X-ray, which came back negative. Girardi said he is day to day. Gardner's stolen base in the fifth inning was his first steal since June 16.
• The eight runs the Yankees scored were their season high for a home game this year. Their previous high in any ballpark was 14 against the Indians in Cleveland on April 9.
• Robinson Cano's third-inning home run was his 1,559th career hit, surpassing Thurman Munson for 18th on the all-time Yankees hit list.
2dDanny Knobler, Special to ESPN.com
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