BALTIMORE -- Coco Crisp was once again out of the starting lineup on Friday night, and it will continue that way on occasion until the outfielder's ongoing neck issue has completely subsided.
Crisp suffered a neck strain nearly a month ago and, after missing several games thereafter, has been trying to play through it without avail. He did appear as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of Friday's 4-3 victory over the Orioles in 11 innings, drawing a leadoff walk and scoring the tying run on Yoenis Cespedes' double.
"I think, now, it's just about trying to get him a few days of rest to try to get him better," said manager Bob Melvin. "He'll feel pretty good after a day of rest and then play a game and then maybe take half a step backward. So I'm going to be a little bit more proactive about getting him more rest here, so there will be some days you won't see him in the lineup."
Enter Craig Gentry, who started in center field and batted leadoff in Baltimore on Friday.
"That's why we got him," said Melvin. "Coco always needs some days off based on how hard he plays, and he's getting a little bit older. We knew that coming in, so that's why we targeted Craig. It's nice to have a guy like that. You know you're getting a guy that can do different things on the field.
"That being said, we always like to have Coco in there because he's so important to the lineup. But having a guy like Craig makes you feel very good, and it's just part of the versatility that we have here."
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.