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Indians place closer Kerry Wood on disabled list

CLEVELAND (AP) — Kerry Wood is back on the disabled list — for the 14th time in his career and second with the Cleveland Indians this year.

Cleveland's closer didn't pitch this season until May 8 because of a strained muscle in his upper back that landed him on the DL during spring training. Now, he has a blistered right index finger.

"Kerry was dealing with this for a while and it just didn't get better during the All-Star break," manager Manny Acta said Saturday. "He wasn't available Friday, though we didn't want to say anything and let the guys in the other dugout know.

"With a doubleheader today, we just couldn't risk being caught short in the bullpen."

Cleveland recalled reliever Jensen Lewis from Triple-A Columbus to replace Wood, who last pitched Sunday in Tampa Bay.

"I've been better — and worse," Wood said after Cleveland beat Detroit 4-3 in Game 1 on Saturday.

"I first got a little blister right after I came off the DL, but worked through it. It came back a couple weeks ago, then split on Sunday. Hopefully, I stopped pitching before it got too bad."

Wood has had an uneven second season with Cleveland, which signed him to a $20 million, two-year contract before the 2009 season. With the Indians rebuilding and in last place in the AL Central, the team may try to trade him to a contender before the July 31 deadline.

The 33-year-old right-hander is 1-4 with a 6.30 ERA and eight saves in 23 games this season. He went 3-3 with 20 saves in his first year with Cleveland.

Wood burst upon the big league scene as a 20-year-old starter for the Chicago Cubs in 1998, striking out 20 in a 2-0 victory over the Houston Astros in his fifth career start. He missed the entire 1999 season after elbow surgery in March, marking the first of 12 trips to the DL with the Cubs — the last coming in July 2008 because of a blistered right index finger.

"This one isn't as bad," Wood said. "The thing is, I never had this as a starter. I even had a little one last year but it didn't get bad enough to keep me out."