Morneau leaves in fifth inning
"He had a little stiffness in his upper back, but it isn't anything serious or related to last year," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said after Tuesday's 2-0 win. "It was a cold night and [Justin] Verlander had him swinging and missing a lot, so he stiffened up a bit. We just did the smart thing."
The 2006 AL MVP played his final game last season on Sept. 12 because of a back injury. Minnesota rallied to win the AL Central without him, beating Detroit in the 163rd game.
Morneau struck out in each of his three at-bats against Verlander in the series opener. He had reached base in each of Minnesota's first 19 games, hitting in 16 of them.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Braves suspend struggling Uggla for 1 game
- Wright to get shot to aid shoulder at break
- Reds' Simon among 4 pitchers added to ASG
- Grand record: batterymates slam for S.F.
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- Rico Minnesota Twins Metal License Plate