DETROIT -- Victor Martinez showed no signs of injury when he walked into the Tigers' clubhouse at Comerica Park Monday afternoon, nor when he began pregame batting practice. Once he mentioned feeling soreness around his back, however, his manager wasn't taking any chances.
"He didn't want to come out," Brad Ausmus said. "He took BP and he looked OK, but I just decided that I didn't want to risk losing Vic for an extended period of time."
Thus, Martinez was scratched from the Tigers' lineup for the opener vs. the A's, his first time out of the starting nine this season. Martinez hadn't missed a start since the Tigers' regular-season finale last year, when Henderson Alvarez no-hit them.
With Martinez out, J.D. Martinez got another game. The outfielder was originally slated for his first day out of the lineup in two weeks, with Rajai Davis and Torii Hunter starting in the corner-outfield spots. Instead, Martinez batted cleanup as the designated hitter.
It does not appear to be a serious injury for Martinez, nor a long-running one.
"Today was the first time I'd heard about it," Ausmus said. "He said he felt it a little bit yesterday and he felt it again today, so I just decided it would be better to take him out. Like I said, he didn't want to come out. We can't lose Victor for an extended period."
The scratch cost Martinez his chance to hit against A's starter Scott Kazmir, against whom he's 12-for-36 for his career. Martinez, by contrast, was 0-for-6 off Kazmir entering the night.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.