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Crisp likely back in action this weekend

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OAKLAND -- The A's are aiming to get Coco Crisp back in their lineup during this weekend's three-game set in Cleveland.

Crisp has missed a week's worth of games with a neck strain, slowly improving along the way. On Wednesday, he was "even better," according to manager Bob Melvin, and perhaps enough to potentially be available off the bench for a matinee meeting with the White Sox.

Melvin noted it would only be in an emergency situation, though.

"I think after the off-day tomorrow, we have a shot in Cleveland," he said.

The A's have won six consecutive games in Crisp's absence, in part because of their enviable depth -- notably, Craig Gentry, brought on board in the offseason to fill this exact role.

"We felt like he could be an impact guy for us, either giving Coco some days off or even as an in-game guy," said Melvin. "He impacts the game off the bench as well as anyone we've seen here in the past few years.

"We feel fortunate that [Crisp] has missed six games and we've won. That's an opportunity for someone else to contribute, and that's the way we look at things here."

After an 0-for-2 performance in Wednesday's 4-2 loss, Gentry is 6-for-23 over the last six games and 20-for-64 (.313) in his starting assignments this season.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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