7/6 Taking a break

On Friday, Starlin Castro did not start, the first time this season after being in the lineup for 82 straight games. He was the only player in the National League to have started in all of his team’s games, and got some good-natured razzing from his teammates about being “benched.”

“He told me day off,” Castro said of the message he got from Dale Sveum. “I don’t think I need it but if he wants to give it to me, I’ll take it. I’ll be ready for tomorrow or later today.”

It won’t be a total break. Sveum wants Castro near him in the dugout.

“I wanted to give him a day off before the [All-Star] break, one way or another,” Sveum said. “I just want him to kick back one day and just observe before the break because he’s not going to get much of a break. I want him to kick back and talk to him about scenarios on the bench.”

Castro is batting a season-low .287, and 2-for-16 on the road trip. He began the year with a .300 average in his first two seasons in the big leagues.

“I feel good at home plate,” Castro said. “I don’t feel lost at home plate. I feel good. I feel like I’ve felt my last two years. [My batting average] won’t stay there for a long time for sure. I know that.”

— Carrie Muskat

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