Sore back keeps Damon out of Yankees' lineup

Updated: July 25, 2006, 12:04 AM ET
Associated Press

Center Field
New York Yankees

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2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
91 11 48 69 .369 .293

ARLINGTON, Texas -- New York Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon was scratched from the starting lineup of the Yankees' 6-2 victory at Texas on Monday night because of a sore back.

"Hopefully, this is the only game I'll miss," Damon said.

"His back was locked up so I took him out of the lineup," manager Joe Torre said. "He was trying to get in the car or something, and it locked up. He was all right yesterday."

Damon said there was no way he could have played Monday night, not even as a pinch hitter.

"It's along the spine. It came out of the blue," Damon said. "I've never had anything like it before."

Bubba Crosby replaced Damon in center field and batted ninth. Left fielder Melky Cabrera, listed eighth in the original lineup, moved up to the leadoff spot and went 3-for-4 with a triple, double, two runs scored, a walk and a stolen base.

Damon was 2-for-5 on Sunday, when he started as the designated hitter for the ninth time this season. He has started 79 of the Yankees' 97 games in center and missed two games July 6-7 with soreness in his right oblique.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press