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05/31/09 5:04 PM ET

Betancourt to land on DL with groin strain

Reliever departs in eighth after throwing three pitches

CLEVELAND -- Rafael Betancourt has been the Indians' go-to reliever all season, but now he's going to the disabled list.

Betancourt left Sunday's 5-4 win against the Yankees in the eighth inning with a strained right groin. He is expected to be placed on the DL on Monday. The corresponding roster move was not yet decided.

Brought in to face Mark Teixeira with two on and one out in the eighth, Betancourt threw three pitches to get to a 2-1 count. On this third pitch, he felt a pop and stepped off the mound. Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff and manager Eric Wedge rushed out, and after a short chat, Betancourt walked off the field.

"I knew I had to stop pitching right away," Betancourt said.

The Indians turned to right-hander Matt Herges, who gave up a game-tying double to Teixeira.

While the Tribe went on to win the game, Betancourt will be a huge loss in the 'pen. He has made a team-high 24 appearances, posting a 1-1 record, one save and 3.71 ERA in 26 2/3 innings. He was not credited with facing a batter in this appearance.

The Indians, who placed star center fielder Grady Sizemore on the DL earlier in the day, don't need another blow to their bullpen just as it has shown some signs of life of late.

"It's very frustrating to deal with this right now," Betancourt said.

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