Martinez scratched with stiff neck

Martinez scratched with stiff neck

NEW YORK -- An Indians team struggling mightily on the offensive end lost its hottest hitter for Tuesday night's series opener with the Yankees.

Catcher Victor Martinez was a late scratch from the lineup because of a stiff neck. He is listed as day-to-day. Backup Kelly Shoppach replaced him and batted eighth.

Manager Eric Wedge had penciled Martinez into the No. 3 spot of the lineup but thought better of it during batting practice.

"He was borderline," Wedge said of Martinez following the Tribe's 5-3 win over the Yankees. "We felt it best to stay away from him. We'll see how he feels when he comes in [Wednesday]."

While his teammates up and down the lineup have labored at the plate, Martinez has hit in 15 straight games, the longest streak in the American League this season. His .347 average for the season leads the league.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.