Hardy out with back stiffness

Shortstop J.J. Hardy was scratched from the Brewers’ starting lineup Wednesday with mid-back stiffness, a change that wasn’t noticed in the press box until Reds outfielder Chris Dickerson popped out to shortstop for the second out of the first inning.

Craig Counsell, not Hardy, made that catch, and the team announced moments later that Counsell was batting second in the Brewers’ lineup. Right fielder Corey Hart dropped from second in the order to fifth.

That the switch went unnoticed at first was not altogether surprising. All Brewers players and coaches wore No. 42 on Wednesday as part of Jackie Robinson Day festivities across Major League Baseball.

Hardy receives regular treatment for a stiff back but it had not limited him at all this season. He had homered in each of his last two games and had driven in a run in four straight despite hitting just .156 for the young season.

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