BALTIMORE (AP) -Randy Johnson will miss his scheduled start Saturday for the Arizona Diamondbacks because of lower back pain.
Johnson experienced tightness in his back while playing catch, Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. The left-hander was to have an MRI to assess the damage.
Melvin said the examination was precautionary, and he hoped Johnson would be able to take his next turn in the rotation after missing his start against the Baltimore Orioles.
``We are going to err on the side of caution. I've said that from day one. That's the way we're going to handle it,'' Melvin said. ``We're not going to run him out there in a situation where something can get worse. If we can skip a start, we'll do it.''
Johnson started the season on the disabled list after undergoing offseason back surgery. In nine starts this season he's 4-2 with a 3.52 ERA.
In his last start, the 43-year-old Johnson allowed one run and four hits in six innings in a win over Boston.
Johnson will be replaced Saturday by Edgar Gonzalez, who pitched three innings of relief on Wednesday against the New York Yankees.
``We'll run a 65-, 70-, 75-pitch count for him depending on how he feels when he goes out there tomorrow,'' Melvin said.
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks optioned outfielder Alberto Callaspo to Triple-A Tucson and purchased the contract of infielder Augie Ojeda from Tucson. To make room on the 40-man roster, the club designated for assignment pitcher Mike Schultz.
Ojeda was batting .323 in 32 games with Tucson.
``He had a great spring for us. He'll play any position; he's always prepared to play,'' Melvin said. ``He's one of those guys on the bench, especially on a National League team, that's invaluable.
``It's nice to have a guy like Augie here. You reward a guy for not only playing well, but for preparing and working hard.''
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