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Carlos Zambrano shelled, leaves with 'lower back stiffness'

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Marlins starter Carlos Zambrano was enjoying a career renaissance this season. He entered Saturday's start against the Rays with a 2.81 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and had thrown his first shutout since 2009. Saturday, he only needed seven pitches to get through a 1-2-3 first inning.

And then came the second inning, in which Zambrano allowed five runs on four hits and two walks.

In the third inning, Zambrano issued one-out walk to Carlos Pena, after which manager Ozzie Guillen and a Marlins trainer came to the mound to check on him. Zambrano would stay in the game, only to allow a two-run homer to Ben Zobrist. Zambrano exited two hitters later with what the Marlins have said is "lower back stiffness." (MLB.com)

Zambrano's final line was 1 2/3 innings, five hits, seven earned runs and three walks. The extent of the back injury is not yet known.

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