MIAMI MARLINS ace Jose Fernandez was put on the 15-day disabled list yesterday because of a sprained right elbow, spurring worries that his injury might be even more severe.

Fernandez, 21, was the NL Rookie of the Year last season. He is 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in eight starts this year.

Several young pitchers have recently had elbow problems and needed Tommy John surgery. Matt Harvey, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin are among the All-Stars who have had the ligament transplant operation that can take 12 to 18 months for recovery.

"That's probably what everyone is going to talk about and continue to talk about," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said before last night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"We've protected him. We've been consistent in how we've used him, with his workload. We've given him extra days. That's a question I don't think anybody has the answer to."

Fernandez had been scheduled to start tomorrow at Dodger Stadium.

"He definitely wasn't going to throw [Sunday's scheduled bullpen session at San Diego] with a sore arm. We're going to take every precaution necessary. He said he felt discomfort. So immediately, we're getting him the treatment and the rest he needs," Redmond said.

"I think you're always concerned when you're talking about elbows. That's something we have to wait to find out."

Fernandez made 28 starts last year, going 12-6 with 2.19 ERA and a major league-best .182 opponents' batting average.

"You see how much he means, so much to our team and our rotation and really all of baseball," Redmond said. "He's been a dynamic player. He's been a huge lift and a huge spark for our team. We just hope everything goes well and he just has to take a little bit of a break."

Noteworthy

* New York Mets pitching prospect Rafael Montero is scheduled to make his major league debut in the Subway Series. Jenrry Mejia was bumped to the bullpen, a move he was reluctant to make, and Montero will be called up to start in Mejia's place tomorrow night against the Yankees.

* Toronto optioned catcher Erik Kratz to Triple A Buffalo. Kratz was batting .231 with two homers and six RBI in 11 games.

* The Los Angeles Angels recalled infielder Luis Jimenez from Triple A Salt Lake City and placed third baseman Ian Stewart (hand) on the 15-day disabled list. Manager Mike Scioscia said righthander Matt Shoemaker will be recalled from Triple A today to start at Philadelphia.

* A federal jury deadlocked on a brutality claim by former Houston pitcher Brandon Backe, who had sought millions in damages after accusing police of causing career-ending injuries when they broke up a 2008 wedding party in Galveston, Texas. Backe and his attorneys said they would seek a retrial of the unresolved claims.

The jury did rule that four Galveston police officers used excessive force to break up the party. Nine officers were suspended without pay and four received written reprimands after the Oct. 5, 2008, incident at a bar at the San Luis Resort and Conference Center. The jury awarded nearly $50,000 in damages in the lawsuit against the four officers.

In AL games

* At Toronto, Mark Buehrle (7-1) became the first seven-game winner in the majors, Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie homered and the Blue Jays beat the Los Angeles Angels, 7-3, to avoid a four-game sweep.

* At Baltimore, Rick Porcello (6-1) won his fifth straight start, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Orioles, 4-1, in a duel between division leaders that included by a bench-clearing fray.

* At Houston, Colby Lewis (3-2) threw 5 2/3 shutout innings, and Adrian Beltre and Rougned Odor each homered to lead Texas to a 4-0 win over the Astros.

In an interleague game

* At New York, the visiting Mets got home runs from Travis d'Arnaud, Curtis Granderson, Eric Young Jr. and Chris Young in a 9-7 win over the Yankees.

In an NL game

* At St. Louis, Junior Lake homered and drove in six runs as the Chicago Cubs routed the Cardinals, 17-5.