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Victor Martinez exits early for side soreness, expected to remain out of lineup through Sunday

Victor Martinez departed Friday's game after re-aggravating a sore side when hitting an RBI single in the sixth inning. It is unlikely that Martinez will play until the series opener against the Dodgers.

Duane Burleson

DETROIT — In the sixth inning Victor Martinez hit an RBI single up the middle to drive in the second run of the night for the Tigers.

However, Rajai Davis pinch hit for Martinez in the eighth and the Tigers announced that Martinez had left the game due to re-aggravating his sore side.

After the game Ausmus said Martinez's chances of appearing in Saturday's game are now "next to nil at this point" and Martinez will be day-to-day after that.

"I tried to make that last at-bat, but I couldn't," Martinez said. "The way I feel now I don't think I'll be able to play until (at least Sunday). More like Tuesday, and we'll have to wait and see then."

Martinez spent three days out of the lineup due to a sore side but was cleared to play Thursday night and performed favorably while batting from the right side. However, there was discussion on Friday whether to keep Martinez in the lineup for Friday because he would be batting left-handed.

Ausmus stressed caution because of the location of the injury, stating on Thursday that if the soreness wasn't handled correctly it could result in a long-term issue.

"Two days ago if they had a righty pitching he probably wouldn't have started, but he didn't feel it as much from the right side," Ausmus said. "Today he said he felt good from both sides, BP was good, his first few at-bats were good, but I guess that single re-aggravated it so we're going to have to be a little more cautious now."

Martinez said he initially injured his right side during a swing in the last game in Houston. While Martinez doesn't believe the soreness is anything to be concerned about long term, at this point he needs to feel like he was prior to the injury before returning to the lineup.

In the fourth inning Martinez was also hit by a pitch in his right calf, however Ausmus said there wasn't anything to be concerned with and Martinez's leg was fine. Martinez said his leg was sore but otherwise OK and it did not impact his removal from the game in any way.