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Unit set to make scheduled start Tuesday

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Kevin Brown, roughed up again in his second start back from the disabled list, left the New York Yankees to have his ailing back checked.

Manager Joe Torre said before Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Angels that Brown is OK.

"Kevin's fine. He didn't have any problems. He's still not where we want him to be, but because we're on the West Coast, we gave him permission to leave early and stop in Colorado to see one of his doctors on the way back East," Torre said. "So that's where he is today.

"Hopefully, this little visit to Colorado will help him," he said.

Brown's return was hastened because of the Yankees' injury-depleted rotation.

However, Randy Johnson, who left Thursday night's 6-5 loss to the Angels after six innings because of a twinge in his back, said Sunday that he will make his scheduled start against Minnesota on Tuesday night in New York.

Brown (4-7) had his shortest outing of the season when he lasted only 3 1/3 innings in Saturday's 8-6 loss to the Angels. The 40-year-old right-hander gave up seven runs on six and four walks. That rocky outing followed a 4 1/3-inning stint in which he allowed six runs and 10 hits in a 11-10 comeback victory at Texas on Monday.

Brown said after the loss to the Angels that he was unsure whether he should take some time off.

"That's a question I think is going to be a combination of what's best for the team and what is best for me ultimately, too," he said.

Torre appreciates Brown's willingness to do what's needed.

"He's pitched with discomfort most of his career, and I think what he looks for is more freedom in his delivery. Right now he doesn't feel he has that total freedom," Torre said. "But he felt responsible to go out there. That's a brave to do, in my opinion. He could have asked out, but he didn't do it."

Johnson became annoyed when reporters questioned him before Sunday's game about his back. He gave up two runs on four hits in six innings and left with New York up 5-2.

"They took me out of the game. I didn't ask to come out. It's over with. I'm fine. Every time something happens -- a little tweak here, a little tweak there -- they're more cautious than I am," said the 41-year-old Johnson.

"I haven't been 100 percent since I was in high school. But yet, I still get out there and pitch, and I'm among the league leaders in innings and games started. So it shouldn't be an issue. When I'm not out there, that's when it is. I'll be out there [Tuesday]," he said.

Obviously irritated, he added: "It doesn't mean I'm completely healthy, but I'll be out there. It's unbelievable around here. It's like when we're 50 minutes away from Disneyland -- 'We're almost there, kids.' So no more of it, all right? No more."

At that point, Yankees director of team security Jerry Laveroni shooed reporters away from Johnson, who was sitting in front of his locker.