Carlos Zambrano yields seven runs, leaves with stiff back

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Marlins righty Carlos Zambrano entered Saturday’s start against the Rays with a superb 2.81 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. By the time his 2 1/3 innings were done, his ERA was 3.55 and his WHIP was 1.18.

Big Z surrendered seven earned runs on five hits and three walks to Tampa Bay before exiting in the third inning with stiffness in his lower back.

Beat writer Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says Zambrano was wearing an ice pack in the clubhouse at Marlins Park before he took the mound, so perhaps the Fish should have seen this one coming. And it’s safe to wonder whether they’ll now be forced to place the 31-year-old starter on the 15-day disabled list.

Zambrano missed a little over two weeks last season with the Cubs because of back discomfort.