Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto left Friday's game at Texas with tightness in his upper back and landed on the DL for the third time in 2013. "I don't know how to explain what is happening," he said.


ARLINGTON, Texas - Cincinnati Reds starter Johnny Cueto is on the disabled list for the third time this season because of issues with his right lat muscle.

The Reds put their opening day starter on the DL again Saturday, a day after he left the series opener at Texas because of tightness in his upper back. Cueto threw only 29 pitches and came out one batter into the second inning Friday night.

"It's very disheartening," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said Saturday. "So close to being himself. It's hard. I just hope we can come up with a solution."

Cueto returned to Cincinnati on Saturday to be examined by Reds medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek. Cueto (4-2, 3.33 ERA) was on the DL from April 15 to May 19 with a strained right lat. He missed the first half of June with what was called a strained right shoulder, though it was related to the lat problem.

"I don't know how to explain what is happening," he said through a translator after Friday's game. "I just ... hope it will get better."

Baker said left-hander Tony Cingrani (3-0, 3.42), who took over for Cueto and went four innings Friday, will again fill Cueto's rotation spot.

D-backs' Putz back

PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks reinstated closer J.J. Putz from the 15-day disabled list and optioned right-hander Zeke Spruill to Triple-A Reno.

The 35-year-old Putz suffered a right elbow strain on May 7 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Before his injury, Putz was 2-1 with five saves in nine chances and a 4.26 ERA in 14 games.

A-Rod: 'No issues'

TAMPA, Fla. - Alex Rodriguez says he feels great and his relationship with the New York Yankees is fine.

He didn't indicate when he will start a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment or rejoin the big league team, saying Saturday he "can't wait to get back."

"So far, no issues," said Rodriguez, who is taking at-bats at the Yankees' minor league complex as he comes back from hip surgery. "I feel like my swing is definitely getting back to form."

A-Rod posted Tuesday on Twitter that his hip surgeon had cleared him to play in rehab games. That angered Yankees general manager Brian Cashman because Rodriguez has not been given the go-ahead by team doctors.

When asked if everything is OK with the Yankees, Rodriguez said "absolutely."

Longoria's foot woes

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Tampa Bay slugger Evan Longoria was out of the starting lineup for the first time this season Saturday because of a sore right foot.

Longoria left Friday night's game against Detroit after the third baseman irritated plantar fasciitis. He also is expected to sit out Sunday against the Tigers.

Longoria, who has 17 homers and 47 RBIs in 80 games this season, grounded out in the second inning Friday and was replaced at third base by Kelly Johnson.

"I've been battling with the plantar stuff for the better part of a month now," Longoria said.

Tough Nats' debut

NEW YORK - Washington pitcher Taylor Jordan lasted 4 1/3 innings in his big league debut against the New York Mets, who beat the Nationals 5-1.

Jordan was promoted from Double-A and gave up three runs, although a pair of errors by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman helped make two of them unearned. Jordan gave up five hits, walked two, hit a batter and struck out one.