Victor Martinez out of Tigers' lineup again

Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez is out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive game due to injury.

DETROIT -- Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez is out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive game with a back injury near his rib cage.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said he wanted to watch Martinez take batting practice prior to Tuesday night's game with the Oakland A's and discuss the situation with Martinez and head athletic trainer Kevin Rand.

After doing so 90 minutes before the scheduled first pitch, Ausmus said, "Victor Martinez is down."

Hot-hitting J.D. Martinez is batting cleanup as the substitute DH for the second straight game.

However, Victor Martinez is a big bat to have out of the lineup. He ranks third in the American League with a .323 batting average, fourth with 20 home runs and 11th with 52 RBI.

Still, Ausmus is not concerned about Martinez being out much longer. He stressed that precautions are being taken to assure that he does not worsen his condition by returning too soon.

"Victor is better today," Ausmus said before batting practice. "...He wanted to play (Monday)."

Ausmus said he would listen to what Martinez said and how he said it before determining his playing status for Tuesday. The two of them and Rand spoke for five minutes behind the batting cage. At the end of that time, Rand put a hand on Martinez's shoulder while explaining the situation. Ausmus patted Martinez on the back to encourage him before Martinez quickly departed for the clubhouse, bat in hand.