Los Angeles Angels ace Jered Weaver left his start against the Yankees in the first inning Monday night after just 12 pitches with excruciating lower back pain.
Weaver will have an MRI exam Tuesday, and manager Mike Scioscia isn't sure whether the two-time All-Star will be placed on the disabled list.
"It felt like somebody stabbed me in the back," said Weaver, 6-1 with a 2.61 ERA. "I've never felt anything like that before. It's disappointing. You get up for games like this."
Weaver gave up two hits and a run in his first three batters before pulling up awkwardly after pitching to cleanup hitter Robinson Cano. He walked around the mound and eventually attempted to throw a warmup pitch that didn't have much zip before heading to the Angels' clubhouse with their training staff.
Nearly four hours and a few muscle relaxants later, Weaver still was standing awkwardly in front of his locker after the Angels' seventh straight victory.
"I can't really bend over too much," Weaver said. "I tried to throw that second pitch, but there was no way. The way the team is playing right now, I'm one of the guys that wants to be out there."
Weaver is second in the AL in victories. Although five relievers replaced him in a wild 9-8 victory over the Yankees, any extended absence for Weaver could be quite problematic for the Angels, whose touted starting rotation hasn't been impressive beyond Weaver's steady work.
The right-hander was making his first start at Angel Stadium since throwing a no-hitter May 2 in Anaheim against Minnesota. Weaver was 4-0 with a 0.83 ERA at home this season.
"We're going to look at a couple of things and see what we need to do," said Scioscia, who exhausted most of his bullpen to hang on against the Yankees. "He's stiff now, but we'll have the exams tomorrow and make a decision."
Weaver went 18-8 with a 2.41 ERA last season, finishing second in the AL Cy Young Award voting behind Detroit's Justin Verlander, after leading the majors with 233 strikeouts in 2010. He has been every bit as good this year, giving up just three runs and six hits in 15 innings during his two previous starts before facing the Yankees.
Derek Jeter led off with a single against Weaver. He advanced to second on Curtis Granderson's single and scored when Erick Aybar booted Alex Rodriguez's grounder to shortstop.
Bobby Cassevah relieved Weaver, pitching 3 1-3 innings before Hisanori Takahashi, David Carpenter and Jason Isringhausen came on. Jordan Walden pitched two innings of scoreless relief and got the win after Mark Trumbo's game-ending homer in the ninth.