K-Rod (back spasms) goes to hospital

BOSTON -- New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez left Fenway Park to go to the hospital with back spasms on Saturday night and was unavailable to pitch against the Boston Red Sox.

"He was in a tough position," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said after New York beat Boston 3-2. "He couldn't walk. He was in bad shape. Spasms was the word that they used. How long spasms last? What is his history with that? I really don't know."

A three-time All-Star who saved a major league record 62 games for the Los Angeles Angels last season, K-Rod came to the Mets for a three-year, $37 million free-agent contract over the offseason as the centerpiece of a bullpen overhaul designed to put back-to-back September collapses behind them.

He is 12-for-12 in save opportunities, including a perfect ninth on Friday night against Boston, and is 1-0 with a 0.87 ERA in 20 games this season.

But Manuel went to J.J. Putz pitched in the ninth to close out the 3-2 victory over the Red Sox on Saturday. After the game, he explained that Rodriguez felt the pain after batting practice.

"We were all sitting here and there was a crowd of people standing around. I said, 'What's going on?' They said it was Frankie," Manuel said. "So we'll see where he is tomorrow."

Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz confirmed that Rodriguez went to the hospital by ambulance, but said it was only to avoid traffic.