V-Mart out with knee injury, will return to lineup Saturday

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Victor Martinez is still working his way back from left knee surgery.

Rick Osentoski

DETROIT — The Tigers returned to Comerica Park Friday but just like in the Pittsburgh games, Victor Martinez was not in the lineup.

But this appeared to be because of injury and not because of National League rules with no designated hitter.

Martinez appeared to reach for his back after pinch hitting against the Pirates Tuesday but that was not the problem.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Martinez is still working his way back from left knee surgery.

"He’ll be back in there tomorrow," Ausmus said. "I just wanted to give him one more day off the left side. Left side’s the weaker side so he had the day off yesterday, day off Wednesday, day off Thursday, give him the day off today, then we got a couple lefties. He’ll be back in there. Give him these three days, it’ll help that calm down."

So just as in the games in a National League park, J.D. Martinez was in the lineup batting fourth behind Miguel Cabrera.

Yoenis Cespedes was batting fifth and is the designated hitter.

Davis was playing left field and batting ninth.

"It’s good that we still have guys that can pick up for Victor in this lineup and allow him to get completely healthy so he can really help us," Davis said.

Ausmus said Martinez was available to pinch hit.