© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

07/12/08 10:20 PM ET

Pedro removed with shoulder stiffness

Right-hander exits after four innings vs. Rox, injury not serious

NEW YORK -- Pedro Martinez was removed from his start against the Rockies on Saturday because of stiffness in his right shoulder. The Mets' physically troubled pitcher was removed after pitching four innings.

Martinez had thrown 66 pitches in his ninth start, his eighth since his extended assignment to the disabled list. He had walked three batters, struck out three and allowed one hit, a single in the fourth inning by Brad Hawpe.

Martinez returned to active duty June 3. He had been removed from his first start of the season, April 1, because he had strained his left hamstring. That start was merely his 13th since July 27, 2006. He has averaged merely 4.94 innings per start since that date.

Before the game -- a 3-0 win by the Mets -- was complete, Martinez had been examined and cleared to make his next start, after the All-Star break, as scheduled.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.