Stint on IL likely for Yankees closer Holmes (back)

by Daryn Albert - Yankees veteran closer Clay Holmes, who has not pitched since blowing a save on Friday night to the Red Sox in Boston, told reporters in New York that he is dealing with a back injury, and felt spasms when he threw off a mound on Tuesday to test it.

New York Yankees closer Clay Holmes appears set 'to give it a break' after suffering back spasms 11:40 PM ET ESPN News Services NEW YORK -- Yankees closer Clay Holmes told reporters that he is dealing with a back injury, and felt spasms when he threw off a mound Tuesday to test it. The 29-year-old righty, who has 17 saves and a 2.39 ERA but has struggled recently, said that the current plan is rest and treatment. He did not confirm that a trip to the injured list was in the plans, but appeared confident that was a likely next step. "I just feel the smartest thing and the best way to go about it is just trying to give it a break," he said, "and play it smart and not try to push through something that maybe could be a lot worse than it is now." Holmes, who has 51 strikeouts and a 1.02 WHIP this season, took a blown save in a 3-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Friday night, and hasn't pitched since. Editor's Picks How Aaron Judge can hit 60 (or 70?!) home runs this season in 5 easy steps 4d David Schoenfield 2 Related "It's something that locked up on me a few days ago," he said. The Yankees bullpen has been relatively sharp without Holmes of late. In a 3-1 loss Tuesday night to the Tampa Bay Rays , Albert Abreu worked two hitless innings, striking out one on 28 pitches. But New York's offense has been the problem. The Yankees have scored just one run in the last three games, all losses, and managed just four hits against Tampa Bay. "With the kind of hitters we have and the guys in that lineup, I think it's a shock to everybody," Tuesday's starter, Nestor Cortes , said. The Yankees haven't topped more than three runs in the past seven games. "We're going to continue to lean on each other and push each other," outfielder Aaron Judge said. "We'll get through it." The Associated Press contributed to this report.