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Stiff back forces Morneau to sit

DETROIT -- Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau did not start Wednesday night against the Detroit Tigers because of a stiff back.

Morneau left Tuesday night's 11-6 loss to Detroit after striking out three times against Justin Verlander. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he doesn't expect to start Morneau again until Friday in Cleveland.

The 2006 AL MVP played his final game last season on Sept. 12 because of a back injury, but Gardenhire said the two problems are not related. Minnesota rallied to win the AL Central without him, beating Detroit in the 163rd game.