NEW YORK -- Coco Crisp remained out of Oakland's lineup with pinkeye for Friday's opener against the Yankees, prompting manager Bob Melvin to pencil Collin Cowgill's name into the lineup for the second time since he rejoined the A's as a September callup.
Cowgill led off and played center field in Crisp's absence, with Yoenis Cespedes returning to left field after serving as designated hitter Thursday in Detroit with a bone bruise in his right foot.
Melvin said he doubted Crisp would be available off the bench, and opted to start Cowgill atop his lineup because of the right-handed hitter's experience against Yankees starter CC Sabathia. Cowgill went 3-for-4 against Sabathia in a May 26 matchup with the left-hander at the Coliseum.
"He does have a little bit of a history with him," Melvin said. "We'll start him out there and see how it goes. We certainly have some options off the bench if the pitching goes in a different direction, but he's probably the only other true leadoff-hitter type we have, especially against a left-hander. It's his time to shine today."