Kubel scratched with neck stiffness

Kubel scratched with neck stiffness

Kubel scratched with neck stiffness
HOUSTON -- Left fielder Jason Kubel was scratched from Friday's lineup after he continued to feel the effects of a stiff neck incurred on the D-backs' flight from St. Louis on Thursday night.

Kubel, originally batting third for Friday's game, said he fell asleep sitting up on the plane. His neck bothered him while he was hitting in the cage before Friday's game, so he told manager Kirk Gibson, who decided to take Kubel out of the lineup.

"That's the thing you want to try to take care of as opposed to irritating it," Gibson said.

Gerardo Parra took Kubel's spot in left field and batted seventh. Second baseman Aaron Hill batted third.

Trainers worked on Kubel before the game, trying to remove some of the stiffness from his neck. The 30-year-old said he's dealt with neck problems before, missing a couple of games with the issue during his eight-year Major League career.

Kubel expects the issue to be a day-to-day matter and not something more lingering.

Kubel entered Friday's game batting .276 with 25 homers and 77 RBIs in his first season with the D-backs. He didn't start in Thursday's game against the Cardinals, but Gibson said that didn't have anything to do with the neck problems.