Stutes injures back

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Phillies reliever Michael Stutes was removed from the game Tuesday night with back pain. (Barbara Johnston/AP Photo)

ST. LOUIS -- The last casualty on a road trip that could not end soon enough was rookie righthander Michael Stutes. He was the first reliever used Tuesday night and lasted three pitches before needing to leave the game.

Stutes said he felt burning in his lower back after throwing his second pitch, a 93 m.p.h. fastball to Lance Berkman. He tried to pitch through it, threw another 93 m.p.h. fastball and then the pain was too much.

The Phillies are unsure if Stutes will require the disabled list. He will see a doctor when the team returns home Wednesday.

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"I don't know," Stutes said. "I've never had an injury before. I guess we'll figure it out [Wednesday]. Hopefully it's just a freak thing where I just strained something and I'll wake up tomorrow feeling good."

Stutes said he felt fine warming up in the bullpen and did not feel any pain until the Berkman at-bat.

It threw a wrench into Charlie Manuel's bullpen plan after Roy Oswalt gave him five innings while on a pitch count. Manuel said he had hoped to squeeze two innings out of Stutes.


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