Detroit – Justin Upton, the Tigers’ player of the month in June, was held out of the lineup for the third straight game Sunday against the Indians because of soreness in his right side.

“That’s sensationalism,” manager Brad Ausmus joked before the game. “Because it’s really only been two days.”

Two days, three games – the reality is, the earliest Upton will return to the lineup is Tuesday, and that is not guaranteed.

“He’ll have the off-day Monday then we will see how it is on Tuesday,” Ausmus said.

The Tigers aren’t saying specifically where the pain is.

“It’s in that area (of the oblique muscle),” Ausmus said. “So it could be that.”

But the medical staff hasn’t yet felt it necessary to run any diagnostic tests, no MRIs.

Andrew Romine got his second straight start in left field.

Upton’s injury has forced Ausmus to keep a couple of weary players in the lineup.

“Miggy (Cabrera) could use a day off,” he said. “J.D. (Martinez), after two games on his feet (Saturday) could use a day off. But with Upton out, we need these guys to play. Luckily we have some veteran guys who are very good at sucking it up.”

Ausmus was finally able to get second baseman Ian Kinsler a day off, though.

“I promised him a day off a week ago in San Diego,” he said. “But he kept playing because we were having trouble winning games. He said he wanted to be on the field when we broke the (eight-game losing) streak.”

Dixon Machado started at second base Sunday, and shortstop Jose Iglesias hit in Kinsler’s lead-off spot.

Twitter @cmccosky