NEW YORK (AP) – Kevin Brown went on the disabled list for the 13th time in his career Saturday, and rookie Sean Henn will take his next turn in the New York Yankees’ rotation.

Brown, who has chronic back trouble, left Wednesday’s game against Pittsburgh in the fifth inning because of back spasms, and the move to put him on the disabled list was backdated to Thursday. He started the season on the DL because of a back strain, was activated April 17 and went 5-6 with a 5.48 ERA.

“We just decided let’s take it slow,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said after Saturday’s 8-1 win over the Chicago Cubs. “Because he had come so far, we didn’t want to try to rush it.”

The 40-year-old right-hander missed seven weeks last June and July because of a strained lower back and an intestinal parasite. He returned, then broke his non-pitching hand when he punched a clubhouse wall on Sept. 3 and sat out most of September.

Henn was to work out Saturday with Triple-A Columbus and be recalled Sunday to start Monday when the Yankees open a series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He will combine with Chien-Ming Wang to temporarily give New York two rookies in its starting rotation.

Henn made his major league debut at Tampa Bay on May 4 when Randy Johnson had a stiff groin. Henn, 24, allowed six runs, seven hits and two walks in 2 1-3 innings, throwing 72 pitches. Tampa Bay won 11-8, leaving Henn 0-1 with a 19.29 ERA.

Henn was brought up from Double-A for that start. Since then, he’s gone 4-2 with a 3.19 ERA in eight starts for Triple-A Columbus.

“He impressed us two springs ago more than he impressed us this past spring. I think this past spring he was trying to impress us, and that was the problem,” Torre said. “I like his presence. He’s a little sneaky, and he’s left-handed, which is certainly an advantage. I think he’s going to be a big league pitcher, there’s no question in my mind.”

Notes: 1B Tino Martinez has an inflamed right arch but played Saturday and went 0-for-4. … 1B Jason Giambi did not play because of tightness in both hamstrings. “Hitting into two double plays really didn’t help last night,” he said. “I still have that dream I can beat one of them out.” … RHP Ramiro Mendoza is scheduled to throw off a bullpen mound Tuesday for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery in January. Mendoza could be ready to join the Yankees for the final couple months of the season.

AP-ES-06-18-05 1857EDT

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