Gardner scratched from Yankees' lineup with stiff neck

NEW YORK (AP) Brett Gardner has been scratched from the New York Yankees' lineup against Oakland with a stiff neck.

He was replaced in left field Wednesday night by switch-hitter Aaron Hicks, who batted ninth. Starlin Castro moved up to Gardner's No. 2 spot in the lineup against Athletics right-hander Kendall Graveman.

Gardner was listed in the original lineup. But during batting practice, a little more than 2 hours before game time, the Yankees announced he had been removed. He may have aggravated a lingering neck issue when he dove for Danny Valencia's sixth-inning triple Tuesday night.

The speedy Gardner has been one of the best offensive players lately for a Yankees team struggling to get timely hits. He has eight hits in his last 16 at-bats, including two doubles and a home run, and a .438 on-base percentage this season.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.