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Matsuzaka leaves game with stomach ailment

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- New York Mets right-handed pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka left his start Sunday afternoon against the San Diego Padres after just one inning with what the team described as a "severe upset stomach."

Matsuzaka walked two of the first three batters he faced. Leadoff hitter Will Venable walked but was erased on a double play. Then, Matsuzaka was visited at the mound by manager Terry Collins and a trainer.

After a brief consultation, Matsuzaka remained in the game, but pitchers immediately began throwing in the Mets' bullpen.

Matsuzaka retired Padres third baseman Chase Headley on a grounder to first base to end the inning but walked very slowly off the mound. Of the nine Mets on the field, he was the seventh to reach the dugout.

Right-hander Carlos Torres came on for Matsuzaka and allowed one run over a season-high four innings. It was an effort the Mets badly needed on an afternoon in which Collins said relievers Dana Eveland, Gonzalez Germen and Jenrry Mejia were likely unavailable.

The left-handed Eveland and right-handed Germen each threw two innings Saturday while Mejia has not pitched since Thursday due to back stiffness.

"We're down a couple guys in the bullpen," Collins said before the game. "We need (Matsuzaka) to get us into the seventh inning. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you looked up -- seventh, eighth inning, he'll still be out there."

Instead, the Mets will likely have to add a reliever prior to Monday's series opener in St. Louis against the Cardinals.

"That's why I say we've got to get Daisuke deep into the game," Collins said. "Because if we don't, we're going to need somebody for tomorrow."
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