July 9, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Yankees place Masahiro Tanaka on DL with elbow inflammation

New York Yankees rookie pitcher Masahiro Tanaka leads the majors with 12 victories. (Jim Mone / Associated Press)

Cleveland — Yankees rookie sensation Masahiro Tanaka has been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to elbow inflammation and has returned to New York to have an MRI on his right arm.

Tanaka, who leads the majors with 12 wins, allowed five runs and 10 hits — both career highs — in 623 innings in a 5-3 loss to the Indians on Tuesday night. The All-Star is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts, but has lost three of his last four outings.

Tanaka went back to New York for an MRI, but manager Joe Girardi said there is no prognosis yet.

“We won’t be sure until he actually sees the doctor, and we’ll go from there,” Girardi said.

Tanaka began the season 11-1 with a 1.99 ERA, but hasn’t been as effective in his last four starts, going 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA. He’s allowed eight home runs in his last five starts, including two on Tuesday, a two-run shot in the sixth to Nick Swisher that put Cleveland ahead and a solo blast by Michael Brantley in the seventh.

Tanaka has anchored a shaky Yankees rotation missing CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova. Sabathia is expected to have season-ending knee surgery and Nova had elbow surgery in April and won’t pitch again until next season.