June 30, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Tigers' Victor Martinez scratched with side ailment

Victor Martinez was just 1-for-13 in the Houston series. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)

Detroit Ė J.D. Martinez, scorching at the plate now for two weeks, was all set to get a day off.

And now he wonít get a day off, after all.

The Tigers slugging right fielder was a late addition to the lineup Monday night. Manager Brad Ausmus felt it best to give the other Martinez Ė Victor Ė the night off instead, with Victor nursing a side ailment.

ďHe didnít want to come out,Ē Ausmus said. ďHe took BP and he looked OK, but I just decided that I didnít want to risk losing Vic for any extended period of time.Ē

Itís a straight substitution: J.D. Martinez will take over as designated hitter, and in the cleanup spot.

Itíll mark the 13th consecutive start for J.D. Martinez, the surprise of the Tigers season who now is batting .317 with nine home runs and 32 RBIs.

The Victor Martinez injury might help explain his rough series at the plate in Houston. In the three games, he was just 1-for-13, after having six hits in the three games before that.

Ausmus said he didnít remember which side was bothering Martinez, but said itís kind of near the back, in the rib-cage area. Monday was the first Ausmus had heard of it.

The Tigers lineup now as follows, against Aís lefty Scott Kazmir:

1. Rajai Davis, LF

2. Ian Kinsler, 2B

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. J.D. Martinez, DH

5. Torii Hunter, RF

6. Nick Castellanos, 3B

7. Alex Avila, C

8. Eugenio Suarez, SS

9. Austin Jackson, CF

Ausmus said not to read much into Jackson moving down to the ninth spot. It simply was a matter of circumstance. He likes the speed of Davis and Kinsler atop the lineup against a left-handed pitcher.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

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