Morneau scratched with stiff neck

Morneau scratched with stiff neck

ARLINGTON -- Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau was scratched from the lineup before Thursday night's game against the Rangers because of a stiff neck.

Morneau missed two weeks during Spring Training because of the ailment, but was fine after being cleared to play. Morneau also underwent surgery in 2011 to remove a herniated disk fragment. That was during a time that he was dealing with the aftereffects of a concussion.

Morneau was healthy last year, playing a combined 152 games with the Twins and the Pirates. He also played in all but two of the Rockies' 36 games before Thursday, and started 31 times.

Morneau is batting .331 with seven home runs, 10 RBIs and 10 doubles.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.