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Left fielder Coco Crisp returns from disabled list for neck injury as Athletics host Orioles


OAKLAND, California — Oakland Athletics left fielder Coco Crisp has been activated from the 60-day disabled list after being sidelined with a strained neck since May 20.

Crisp was in the lineup and batting second for his return Monday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles. Manager Bob Melvin said he expects Crisp to play a couple of games then get a day off as he gets back into the flow.

The A's optioned outfielder Jake Smolinski to Triple-A Nashville to clear roster room. Oakland also recalled right-hander Arnold Leon from Nashville to get a better look at the reliever in a new bullpen role, Melvin said. Right-hander Dan Otero also was optioned to Nashville.

Infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia was claimed off waivers from Toronto and was expected to join the A's on Tuesday. The club reinstated switch-pitcher Pat Venditte from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Nashville.

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