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08/19/08 6:18 PM ET

Gordon out of lineup with bad back

German moves over to third; Smith slots in at second

CLEVELAND -- Third baseman Alex Gordon was out of the Royals' lineup on Tuesday night because of a stiff back.

"Yesterday it was bothering him a little bit and it didn't get any better overnight," manager Trey Hillman said. "We'll just give him a day to treat it and we're hopeful he's ready to go tomorrow."

Esteban German replaced Gordon at third base, with little-used Jason Smith moving to second base. German had started the last five games at second in place of Mark Grudzielanek, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 2 with a sprained right ankle.

Hillman said left-handed reliever Ron Mahay (sore foot) was available to pitch if needed.

"It's no better, no worse," Mahay said. "It's day-to-day. We treat it every day, I do my stretching and take it from there."

Mahay has pitched just once in the last nine games.

Left-hander Jimmy Gobble (sore back) is continuing to have trouble with his command and control in his rehabilitation stay with Triple-A Omaha, Hillman said.

Lefty John Bale (sore shoulder) is still rehabbing at the Surprise, Ariz., camp and is scheduled to pitch in a batting session in the next couple of days.

Outfielder Joey Gathright (sore shoulder) is healthy in his rehab stint with Omaha.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.