HOUSTON -- Astros left fielder J.D. Martinez was out of the starting lineup for the third game in a row Tuesday while he nurses a sore right shoulder, manager Brad Mills said.
Newly acquired Ben Francisco started in left field against the Reds for the second day in row after Justin Maxwell had started in left field Sunday in Arizona. Mills said Martinez slightly injured the shoulder crashing into the wall in Arizona last weekend.
"When he hit the wall in Arizona, he kind of tweaked it a little bit, and that same game he had to make a lot of throws," Mills said. "He's going to come out and try to play catch [Tuesday] and see how he feels. He was OK to hit, but to play defense and throw was kind of questionable. We're hoping today would be the last day we'd have to give him the day off."
Martinez leads the club with 50 RBIs and has reached base safely in his last six games, posting a .429 on-base percentage since July 17. He had a bloop single as a pinch-hitter in Monday's 8-3 loss to the Reds and is 2-for-6 as a pinch-hitter this year.