Gibson scratched with back tightness just ahead of start vs. Marlins

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MIAMI (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals right-hander and Greenfield native Kyle Gibson was scratched from his scheduled start just before Wednesday’s game with the Miami Marlins because of back tightness.

Gibson (5-2, 3.44 ERA) had been away from the team this week on bereavement leave after a death in his family. About two hours before the game, Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol had said Gibson got in his normal workouts during his absence and had expected no issues.

Gibson was replaced by Matthew Liberatore, who gave up homers to the Marlins’ first two hitters, Bryan De La Cruz and Jesus Sanchez.

Gibson is coming off his best outing of the season.

On Friday, he threw seven shutout innings in a 3-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Gibson had six strikeouts and gave up just one walk and two hits.

Gibson has had 14 starts this season and has pitched 83.2 innings. He has fanned 73, walked 31 and given up 69 hits.

In his 12th big league season, Gibson is listed as the scheduled starter for the Cardinals Tuesday, June 25 game, at home, against the Atlanta Braves. Spencer Schwellenbach is slated to start for the Braves.

The Cardinals lost 4-3 Wednesday and are currently 36-37 and in second place in the National League Central Division. They trail the Milwaukee Brewers by seven games.

In the National League Wild Card standings, the Cardinals are tied for the second spot with the Washington Nationals, but have just a .5 game lead over the San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets and one-game lead over the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)