Cedeno scratched from lineup late

Cedeno scratched from lineup late

ATLANTA -- The Pirates lost their hottest hitter when Ronny Cedeno was a late scratch from the lineup Friday night against the Braves because of lower back tightness.

Cedeno was 7-for-14 with a homer and three RBIs in the past four games, and he had reached base in 18 consecutive contests, getting hits in 10 of the past 11. He was hitting .308 in May after posting a .208 average in April.

Bobby Crosby took Cedeno's spot at shortstop and in the eighth spot in the order. Cedeno hit leadoff for the first time this season in the series finale at Cincinnati on Thursday, and he was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles.

The native of Venezuela missed a couple days during Spring Training because of a sore back. But the only previous times he had missed action during the season were because of the flu in April and after being hit on the pinkie by a pitch in early May.

Cedeno, 27, has played in 44 games and is batting .258 with four homers and 14 RBIs.