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Tulowitzki day-to-day with strained back

Tulowitzki day-to-day with strained back

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DENVER -- Rockies shortstop and cleanup hitter Troy Tulowitzki came out of Monday's 4-3 win over the Reds in the bottom of the seventh Monday after driving a single to right to plate the tying run in a dramatic come-from-behind victory.

Tulowitzki strained his lower back on the single, and lost steam as he was running for first. Manager Jim Tracy and head athletic trainer Keith Dugger checked him out at first, and Tulowitzki lobbied to remain in the game. Tracy elected to bring in Omar Quintanilla to run for Tulowitzki.

"I took a swing and I felt a little something," Tulowitzki said. "It felt like I was locked up. Then Tracy came out and told me to stretch a little bit. When I bent down, it was hard to get back up. I had some other situations where I've stayed in the game when I was a little bit hurt and the outcome wasn't good, so I think it was smart for me to get out. The guys did a great job winning the game, so that made me feel a little better."

After Brad Hawpe struck out to end the inning, Quintanilla remained in the game at shortstop. The Rockies took the lead in the eighth on a leadoff homer from Ian Stewart, and Franklin Morales pitched the ninth for his fourth save in September.

"[Tulowitzki] couldn't stay [in the game]," Tracy said. "Because when Keith asked him to run a little bit down the first-base line, it looked to me like he was favoring it, No. 1. The next thought is, you can't lose this guy for an extended period of time. And if Hawpe hits something towards the gap and [Tulowitzki] has to try and score from first base and there's a bang-bang play at home where there's bodies involved, a collision, anything like that, we would have put ourselves in harm's way. I couldn't run that risk."

The Rockies are confident the injury is muscular, which is potentially less serious than a disc problem, and consider Tulowitzki day-to-day. The tenacious shortstop is hard to get out of the lineup, however, and though he looked uncomfortable after the game, he was not ready to rule out playing Tuesday.

"I'm a little sore right now, and a little tight, but at the same time, who knows?" Tulowitzki said. "[I may] wake up and feel good to go. These are important games, and I want to be in there. So we'll see what happens. Tomorrow will tell."

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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