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Nomar on DL, Cust out

This will surely come as a shock to A’s fans, but Nomar Garciaparra was again placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Sunday, with a strained right calf. It’s the same injury that kept Garciaparra out of action from April 29 to May 21. He played Friday and Saturday but was out of the lineup Sunday, when the plan was to use him as a DH for that day’s game.  After sitting Monday, he was put in the lineup for Tuesday’s game against Seattle but was a late scratch.

The A’s brought up RHP Jeff Gray, who has a 2.04 ERA in 14 games with Sacramento, to take Garciaparra’s spot on the roster.

Garciaparra has played just 14 games so far this season and given that he’s now been on the DL five times since the start of the 2008 season, the A’s have been working with Travis Buck to get him a little more familiar with first base. Buck has played 27 games this season in the outfield and but has been doing some work at first for the last week or so. He also played third base at Arizona State

Garciaparra will stay in the Bay Area for treatment when the A’s go on their road trip through Texas and Chicago. A’s manager Bob Geren said Garciaparra might play a few games on rehab assignment before he’s eligible to rejoin Oakland June 8 against Minnesota.

Geren said he’d like to give Buck more time to prepare himself for first base but would be OK putting him in game right now if need be. Not so fast, said third base coach Mike Gallego.

“(He’s) not ready (enough) for me. That’s not an easy position to learn,” Gallego said. “He’s taking ground balls, but to throw him in a game, he’s not even close.”

Barring a rainout on the road trip, the A’s will need to call up another starter. But Geren said the club is no closer to deciding who that pitcher will be.  

Ryan Sweeney replaced Jack Cust in right field just before the first pitch. No word yet on if there’s a problem with Cust, who was the only A’s player to start all 43 games so far.

The lineups:

A’s – Cabrera SS, Suzuki C, Sweeney RF, Holliday LF, Giambi DH, Kennedy 2B, Crosby 1B, Davis CF, Hannahan 3B, Cahill P.

Mariners – Suzuki RF, Betancourt SS, Beltre 3B, Griffey Jr., DH, Branyan 1B, Cedeno 2B, Johnson C, Chavez LF, Gutierrez CF, Bedard P.

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