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Lowry placed on DL after straining muscle in start

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants left-hander Noah Lowry was placed on
the 15-day disabled list because of a strained muscle in his right
side Friday, a day after he was hurt in the second inning of his
first start of the year.

"It's very disappointing," Lowry said. "I felt good
yesterday. I felt good coming into my start."

San Francisco recalled right-hander Kevin Correia, who competed
for the fifth starter job during spring training, from Triple-A
Fresno to take Lowry's roster spot. Correia will be in the bullpen
for now, and the Giants don't need a No. 5 starter until their
April 15 game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

"It's just going to take time for it to heal," Lowry said.
"Right now it's kind of sore. ... I'm definitely hopeful it's not
something that will last longer than a couple of weeks. I'm going
to get together with the trainers and get it taken care of in the
shortest amount of time possible."

The Giants originally called the injury a lower back strain, but
changed that after Lowry underwent tests Thursday night and was
re-evaluated Friday. The timeline for when Lowry might return
wasn't immediately known -- though a similar injury kept Oakland
pitcher Rich Harden out for more than a month late last season.
Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia and Braves right-hander Tim Hudson also
have dealt with the injury.

"It's common now," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said.

Once an MRI exam identified the area of Lowry's injury -- near
his lower back where the side muscle connects to the ribs -- he
received a cortisone shot in the area.

"We're going to be pretty conservative," trainer Stan Conte
said. "The worst thing you can do is move too fast and set him
back."

The 25-year-old Lowry, the Giants' No. 3 starter, was forced to
leave his outing Thursday against the Braves when he grabbed his
right side after throwing a 1-2 pitch to Brian Jordan. Giants
catcher Mike Matheny headed to the mound and then called for Conte.
It was actually the previous pitch when Lowry felt some tightness
in the area.

Later Thursday, Conte recommended the disabled list to Giants
general manager Brian Sabean.

"We're going to take our time with him," manager Felipe Alou
said. "It's really hard to lose Noah, a young guy who was really
coming up big. He just signed a long-term contract. He was really
charged up and throwing the ball well."

Lowry, 13-13 with a 3.78 ERA last year, had his first start
delayed a day because of rain in San Diego. Rookie Matt Cain was
originally set to take the mound the Giants' home opener, but got
pushed back to Friday night's game instead -- though rain was in the
forecast for most of the evening.

Lowry, who signed a new four-year contract last Sunday, was the
only member of the Giants starting rotation not to miss a start
last year. Left-hander Jeff Fassero replaced Lowry, finished the
strikeout to Jordan and pitched 3 2-3 innings for the win.

Correia is ready to accept any role. He had a great spring and
was the last pitcher the Giants sent down.

"That was definitely the toughest send down I've had in the 10
to 15 times I've been sent down," said Correia, who had been in
Las Vegas for the Grizzlies' Pacific Coast League opener Thursday.
"I'll just see if I can come in and fill in the best I can."