Crisp out of lineup with persistent neck soreness

Crisp out of lineup with persistent neck soreness

NEW YORK -- Ongoing neck discomfort kept outfielder Coco Crisp out of the A's lineup in New York on Wednesday.

Crisp initially suffered a neck strain nearly a month ago and, after missing several games thereafter, has been playing through it ever since.

"He continues to grind through this thing, so if I feel like there's a night when it's bothering him a little bit more than a previous day, then we try to stay proactive and try to not get it worse," said manager Bob Melvin. "He's a pretty tough guy, been playing with this for a while, but there are certain days you need to give him off, and we felt like today was a day."

In Crisp's place, Craig Gentry batted leadoff and played in center, while Brandon Moss made the start in right field and Kyle Blanks played first base.

Yoenis Cespedes also has been playing through some discomfort, battling a bout of shoulder soreness he also experienced last year, according to Melvin. But it hasn't been serious enough to keep him out of the lineup.

"It's not an issue to where you're going to DH him and he's going to benefit from that, so we just monitor it," said Melvin, "and as long as he's comfortable swinging and it's not affecting what he's doing swing-wise too much, then it's just one of those things that you play with."

Jane Lee is a reporter for 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.