Tight groin ends evening early

NEW YORK -- Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina left his start
against the San Diego Padres on Friday night after just three
innings because of tightness in his right groin.

Mussina came out as a precaution, the team said. His injury
occurred just two days after teammate Kevin Brown left his start
against Colorado with a strained back.

Brown is day to day, and his status for his next scheduled start
Tuesday in Arizona is uncertain.

Mussina seemed to be cruising, striking out four and giving up
just an infield single and an unearned run in the third.

He has won his last six decisions and was finding his rhythm as
the Yankees' top starter. In his last outing, he took a shutout
into the ninth inning and struck out a season-high 10.

He looked just as good Friday night, striking out four of his
first six batters.

Felix Heredia replaced Mussina to start the fourth inning with
the score tied 1-all.