Coco Crisp was not in the A's lineup on Wednesday because of lower back stiffness, something that also knocked him out of the previous night's game in the 10th inning.
Crisp's health is critical for Oakland this season. He was out for three stretches last season, going on the disabled list twice, and the A's felt the loss of their leadoff man and center fielder.
He scored 51 runs in 75 games, and as it turned out, the offensively challenged team had no one who reached 100 runs in 2010.
Crisp ran for Hideki Matsui in the ninth inning on Wednesday and he scored the tying run. Then he got his first at-bat in the 10th inning and provided the go-ahead run with a base hit to center.
Crisp had a terrific spring, hitting .379, and he was 7-for-21 to start the regular season. In the five games before Wednesday, however, Crisp batted .136.
The A's did have a player return to the starting lineup on Wednesday. Shortstop Cliff Pennington had the infected sweat gland under his left arm drained and he said he was fine.
Daric Barton day off Wednesday despite having four hits the night before. Andy LaRoche was at first base instead. Barton pinch hit in the ninth and walked, then drove in a run with a single in the 10th.
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