Barton, who last made a start with the A's on May 30, drew one at first base for the club's second of a three-game set in Detroit, getting the nod against tough righty Justin Verlander. The left-handed Brandon Moss started in left field, while Chris Carter sat on the bench.
Bob Melvin, managing without Coco Crisp, who is still suffering from pink eye, had his reasons for the decision, noting that in no way does it change how he views the first-base situation moving forward.
"Certainly with Coco not in there, it affects things some," Melvin said. "Typically this would be a Chris Carter day. I'm going to stay away from him. He and Moss are still our platoon at first, just a little different flavor for this game, and I wanted to get another left-handed guy in there, a guy that's faced Verlander a little bit. Defensively, he's very good at first. This isn't about playing into the first-base situation. It's about the Coco situation more than anything else."
Barton, who entered the contest 1-for-10 against Verlander with three walks and five strikeouts, had made just three appearances since being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Sept. 10. He was hitless in eight at-bats in that time.