Mets right-hander Miguel Batista left Saturday's start against the Blue Jays after just two innings because of a sore lower back, putting further strain on New York's bullpen.
Batista warmed up to start the third but had to be replaced by right-hander Jeremy Hefner, who was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo before the game.
Batista, 41, complained of groin and hamstring pain following his previous start, May 14, when he beat Milwaukee with seven shutout innings. The former Blue Jay, who began the season in the bullpen, came in 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA.
Mets relievers are 10-8 with a 5.16 ERA and have blown nine of 20 save opportunities.
Those statistics include Friday night's pitching stint by catcher Rob Johnson, who threw one scoreless inning against Toronto in New York's 14-5 defeat. It was the only three up, three down inning of the game by a Mets pitcher.