Yanks' Robertson exits with back strain

Yanks' Robertson exits with back strain

NEW YORK -- Right-handed pitcher David Robertson left Saturday's game against the Tribe in the seventh inning of the Yanks' 13-11 loss with a mild lower back strain.

Pitching coach Dave Eiland came out to visit Robertson after he threw a first-pitch ball to Jhonny Peralta with one out, one on, and a run in during the seventh inning. Eiland summoned team trainers, and Robertson was removed from the game, with Sergio Mitre taking his place.

"That last pitch I threw to [Trevor] Crowe, when I hit him, I really felt it," said Robertson of a tightness in his back. "It's right above where I got hit in the back. I didn't feel it for a couple days, but it tensed up. I couldn't finish a pitch out there."

It was Robertson's first appearance since being hit with a Joe Mauer line drive on Wednesday. He stayed in that game, a 1-0 Yankees win, for 1 2/3 innings.

Robertson had a bumpy start to the season before righting the ship. Entering Saturday, he had not allowed a run in seven straight appearances -- a span of 8 1/3 innings -- but allowed two runs in one-third of an inning against the Indians. The reliever is 0-2 with a 6.32 ERA in 17 games this season.

Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.