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Balky backs force Ramirez, Carroll from win

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Balky backs force Ramirez, Carroll from win play video for Balky backs force Ramirez, Carroll from win

CLEVELAND -- White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez left the White Sox 6-2 victory over the Indians on Saturday at Progressive Field in the fourth inning, after drawing a leadoff walk from Cleveland starter Zach McAllister.

Ramirez noticeably grimaced after a swing during that at-bat, but it was actually the aggravation of a pregame back problem.

"It happened early on today. I was actually here [in the clubhouse]," said Ramirez through interpreter and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "I went to sit down and get something to eat, and I felt something pop. It was almost like a spasm. When I took a swing on that particular at-bat, when I got out of it, it wasn't feeling good at all. But it was almost like a spasm."

"He took a swing and it didn't feel right, so even talking to him about staying in there, it just wasn't an option," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He did something enough to come out."

Ramirez might not play in Sunday's first-half finale, but he believes he will be ready for his All-Star appearance on Tuesday in Minneapolis. The White Sox optioned right-handed reliever Andre Rienzo to Triple-A Charlotte after the victory and will bring up a position player -- most likely switch-hitting infielder Carlos Sanchez -- to take his place on Sunday. Sanchez's presence would give the White Sox insurance off the bench in case Ramirez can't go.

Scott Carroll, Saturday's starting and winning pitcher, also departed with back tightness after five innings and 78 pitches. Carroll believes he will be fine with treatment and the four days off provided by the All-Star break.

"Bad back day for us," Ventura said.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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