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Yelich exits after 1st AB with tight lower back

Center fielder to be further evaluated before Friday's game
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

CINCINNATI -- Already without regular center fielder Lorenzo Cain, the Brewers lost Christian Yelich to lower back stiffness in the middle of the first inning during Thursday's come-from-behind 6-4 win over the Reds in the series opener.

It's been a problem in the past for Yelich, who was manning center field while Cain is on the 10-day disabled list with a groin injury. He grounded out to first base before being replaced by Keon Broxton defensively in the bottom of the inning.

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CINCINNATI -- Already without regular center fielder Lorenzo Cain, the Brewers lost Christian Yelich to lower back stiffness in the middle of the first inning during Thursday's come-from-behind 6-4 win over the Reds in the series opener.

It's been a problem in the past for Yelich, who was manning center field while Cain is on the 10-day disabled list with a groin injury. He grounded out to first base before being replaced by Keon Broxton defensively in the bottom of the inning.

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"It was two steps out of the box -- just kind of grabbed on me. I felt it pretty good," Yelich said. "I've done it before. It's been about three years, but I kind of knew the feeling. It's kind of looking like this one's not as bad. We'll see. It depends on the next 24 hours. But it's something that's frustrating."

Video: MIL@CIN: Counsell, Yelich on back injury

Yelich's exit began a rough sequence for the Brewers, as starter Junior Guerra promptly surrendered a leadoff home run to Reds shortstop Jose Peraza, and Tucker Barnhart followed with a line drive that got past right fielder Eric Thames. Eugenio Suarez made it 2-0 with a two-out double, but Guerra and the Brewers escaped further damage in the inning.

The Brewers will evaluate Yelich's availability before the series continues Friday. They have outfield coverage with Broxton, Thames, Ryan Braun and utilityman Hernan Perez, but Braun and Thames are each not too far removed from thumb injuries.

Yelich's current issue is different, manager Craig Counsell said, than the ribcage strain that landed him on the 10-day disabled list in April.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Christian Yelich