PHOENIX (AP) — Oakland Athletics designated hitter Manny Ramirez was a late scratch from the starting lineup Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers because of stiffness in his back.

Ramirez, who signed a minor league contract with the A’s in late February, is hitless in five plate appearances and has hit only one ball out of the infield.

Should he make the club, the 39-year-old slugger will sit out Oakland’s first 50 games because of a second positive test for a banned substance.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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