Crisp goes hitless after move to seventh spot

Longtime leadoff hitter just 2-for-37 on season

Crisp goes hitless after move to seventh spot

OAKLAND -- A's leadoff man Coco Crisp was dropped to the seventh spot of the batting order in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the White Sox and went hitless in four at-bats. He's 2-for-37 overall for a .061 season average.

Billy Burns led off in place of Crisp, who drew his first start in the seventh hole since 2012 and just his third since 2008.

"He'll get going and then we'll move him back in the leadoff spot, because that's where we need him," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "On the other side of that, Billy [Burns] is doing a pretty good job getting on base right now, so we have somebody else in the interim that can handle it."

Crisp returned from the disabled list May 6 for his season debut but didn't collect his first hit -- an infield single -- until Wednesday, snapping a 0-for-26 streak. His first hit out of the infield was recorded in the ninth inning Friday, when he doubled to left-center and Stephen Vogt was tagged out in a rundown between third and home for the final out.

It's not the first time he's connected for solid contact, as Melvin noted.

"Really," he said, "the at-bats aren't as bad as the numbers look.

"He's not striking out every at-bat and getting horrible swings, he's just getting nothing to show for it. So his at-bats are getting better, he just needs a little more luck."

Worth noting

Ben Zobrist will put his surgically repaired left knee through several running tests Sunday and, if all goes well, he could begin a rehab assignment early next week. The A's are targeting his return for the start of their next homestand, which begins May 25.

• Left-hander Eric O'Flaherty (shoulder) played catch Friday for the first time since being shut down and reported no issues.

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.