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Daric Barton returns, Scott Hairston absent from A’s lineup

The A’s welcome back one regular to the lineup (first baseman Daric Barton) but are without another (left fielder Scott Hairston). Hairston has been bitten by the injury bug for most of his time with the A’s. His left hip began bothering him last night and forced him to leave the game. But he also has pain in his back and left quad (which has been a problem for a while now), and Hairston wonders if they all could be related. A’s manager Bob Geren said he was hopeful Hairston could possibly return tomorrow, but that seems optimistic based on how Hairston feels right now. “I want to be out there, and my body is not letting me do it,” he said.

Barton has a bone spur in his left heel that acted up during Sunday’s game, so he sat yesterday. But he said he’s played with the bone spur for “a couple of years,” so obviously it’s nothing too serious.

Not much else going on leading up to tonight’s game, but the beat writers did present the Bill Rigney Good Guy Award today. Kurt Suzuki was this year’s winner. We give the award out annually to the player who’s most cooperative with the media, which is a tough call in the A’s clubhouse because there aren’t many bad seeds. Anyway, Suzuki had fun w/it. It would have been good to snap a photo of him walking through the clubhouse holding his Good Guy plaque over his head like it was a heavyweight championship belt.

Tonight’s lineups:

A’s
Kennedy 3B
Davis CF
Sweeney RF
Suzuki C
Cust DH
Ellis 2B
Barton 1B
Pennington SS
Patterson LF

Cahill RHP

Rangers
Borbon DH
Andrus SS
Murphy LF
Byrd CF
Blalock 1B
Kinsler 2B
Cruz RF
C. Davis 3B
Rodriguez C

McCarthy RHP

Joe Stiglich