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05/30/09 12:50 AM ET

Cust forced out of doubleheader early

A's slugger exits Game 1 with recurring lower back injury

ARLINGTON -- A's designated hitter Jack Cust was pulled from Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader against the Texas Rangers because of a recurring lower back injury.

Cust left in the third inning when Bobby Crosby pinch-hit for him. Cust, who leads the A's with seven home runs, had also been scratched from Wednesday's game against Seattle.

Manager Bob Geren didn't know how serious the injury was following the doubleheader and didn't speculate about any stint on the disabled list for Cust. Geren did say between games that Cust's injury was worse than it was on Wednesday. Geren described the injury as "spasms" before the doubleheader.

Cust's injury leaves a big hole in the A's lineup as the No. 3 hole hitter is one of several key bats, including Mark Ellis, Nomar Garciaparra and Eric Chavez, who are currently on the disabled list. Right fielder Travis Buck was also unable to play in Game 2 because of a strained left oblique muscle.

Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.