Span scratched from lineup with back spasms

Span scratched from lineup with back spasms

NEW YORK -- The Nationals planned on Denard Span making his return to the field Tuesday against the Yankees, slotting him atop their lineup. But the back spasms he's been working through since Sunday flared up this afternoon, and he was a late scratch.

Span left Sunday's game against the Cubs at the start of the eighth inning while returning to the field. He grabbed his glove and stood up, he said, and that's when his back locked up.

The Nationals had an off-day Monday. Span took batting practice Tuesday afternoon before being scratched.

Michael Taylor took his place in center field, batting ninth.

Alden Woods is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.