NEW YORK — The Rays pitching staff took another big blow on Friday with Drew Rasmussen going on the 60-day injured list with a flexor strain in his right arm.

Rasmussen hopes to avoid Tommy John surgery — which he has undergone twice in his career in March 2016 and August 2017.

“Unfortunately, this is a part of the game,” Rasmussen said. “There’s always a risk taking the ball.”

The injury was a surprise after Rasmussen went seven shutout innings against the Yankees on Thursday night during an 8-2 win. The righty struck out seven, allowed two hits and threw 56 of his 76 pitches for strikes.

Rasmussen noticed something was wrong when his velocity was down and his pitches did not have the same shape during the seventh inning. Once he reported the pain to the team, manager Kevin Cash pulled the starter.

“Just more nerve sensitivity,” Rasmussen said. “Not any severe pain. The nerve flared up and as a precaution got imaging done and the strain popped up there.”

Rasmussen was having a standout season, posting a 2.62 ERA in 44? innings so far this season.

To replace Rasmussen, the Rays called up righty Chris Muller from Triple-A Durham, where he had a 3.71 ERA in 14 games.

The injury Rasmussen continues a string of injuries for Tampa Bay’s pitching staff, including closer Pete Fairbanks (right forearm inflammation) and starter Jeffrey Springs, who underwent Tommy John surgery on April 22. Starter Tyler Glasnow has not pitched this season while dealing with a sore oblique since spring training.