Walker heads home with back tightness

Walker heads home with back tightness

Walker heads home with back tightness
PITTSBURGH -- Second baseman Neil Walker was knocked out of not only the Pirates' Monday night lineup by tightness in his lower back, he was knocked right out of PNC Park.

After being scratched about 90 minutes before the first pitch of the game against the Cardinals, Walker departed the ballpark to consult with a doctor then continued home, according to manager Clint Hurdle.

Walker was given a prescription to help him sleep, with instructions to call the team's training staff when he awoke.

As of a few minutes following the conclusion of the Pirates' rain-delayed 4-3 loss to St. Louis, Hurdle was not aware of whether Walker had yet made that call.

Hurdle had to adjust his lineup by shifting Josh Harrison, who was originally slated to start at shortstop, to second base and inserting Clint Barmes at short.

Barmes wound up going 2-for-3, including a seventh-inning RBI double to cut into the Cardinals' 4-2 lead.

One of the team's young veteran leaders, Walker has had a difficult time since being forced to miss three starts due to a dislocation of his right little finger, suffered early in an Aug. 15 game against the Dodgers.

Walker has four hits in his past 37 at-bats, a slump which has dropped his average from .294 to .280.