Josh Donaldson out of A's lineup with back stiffness

Josh Donaldson out of A's lineup with back stiffness
July 3, 2014, 4:15 pm
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Josh Donaldson hasn't homered since June 20 against the Boston Red Sox. (AP)

Programming note: Blue Jays-A’s coverage starts today at 5:30 p.m. with A’s Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California

OAKLAND -– Josh Donaldson is dealing with some back stiffness, and the A’s third baseman is out of the lineup Thursday for the second consecutive day.

It doesn’t appear to be a serious issue.

Donaldson was on the field with his teammates and took batting practice before the opener of a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays. Manager Bob Melvin said how Donaldson fared in his pregame activity would determine whether he was available off the bench Thursday night.

[RELATED: No Crisp, Donaldson for opener vs. Blue Jays]

“He’s got a little bit of back stiffness, that’s the reason he wasn’t in there yesterday,” Melvin said. “So we’ll give him another day here and see how he feels tomorrow.”

Alberto Callaspo draws the start at third base and is batting second for the second day in a row. With Coco Crisp out of the lineup, designated hitter John Jaso is batting leadoff.

Donaldson is hitting just .148 (13-for-88) over his last 22 games, but he still ranks third in the American League in runs (57), seventh in RBI (61) and eighth in home runs (18). He owns a large lead in A.L. All-Star fan voting at third base. Online voting continues until 11:59 p.m. Thursday night, with All-Star starters and reserves to be announced Sunday afternoon.