Rafael Soriano to have MRI on elbow

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees relief pitcher Rafael Soriano was not available for Tuesday night's game against the Kansas City Royals because of pain in his right pitching elbow, and will have an MRI on the elbow on Wednesday.

"He came in today, his elbow is a little tender, he'll have a precautionary MRI tomorrow," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, following his team's 3-1 victory. "He talked to Dr. [Christopher] Ahmad [the team's head physician], Sori felt good -- they don't think there's much more, and we're gonna make sure."

"I feel better today," said Soriano, who added that he first felt this pain eight days ago, on May 2 in Detroit. "I told [Girardi] I want to see the doctor before the game. I see the doctor, I told the doctor I want to do the exam. So tomorrow I'm going to do the MRI. I want to make sure everything's fine. And after that, it might be one or two days, and I'll be back."

Soriano, 31, the former Tampa Bay Rays closer who signed a three-year, $35 million deal with the Yankees in the offseason to be the team's eighth-inning setup man, has had a rough start to his Yankees career. In 15 appearances and 14 innings pitched so far this season, Soriano has a 5.79 ERA.

Girardi used Joba Chamberlain in the eighth inning in Soriano's place on Tuesday night, and Chamberlain was impressive, needing just nine pitches to retire three Royals, two by strikeout. Chamberlain topped out at 98 miles per hour on the radar gun.

Soriano, who led the American League in saves last season with 45, also sat out a game earlier this season, on April 24, because of a strained lower back.

Kieran Darcy is a staff writer for ESPNNewYork.com.