CLEVELAND -- White Sox third baseman Joe Crede was out of the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against Cleveland because of a tight back, joining left fielder Carlos Quentin and center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. on the sidelines.
Crede aggravated his back diving for a ground ball in the third inning Tuesday and left in the sixth. Quentin, who leads the AL with 36 homers, was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game due to a sore right forearm and Griffey Jr. didn't start for the third time in a row due to tightness in his lower back.
"You try to do the best you can," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We have guys banged up. Hopefully, the guys who are in there will bring some energy. That's what we've been missing all week."
Crede played in only 47 games last season because of back surgery in June and missed over a month when the back stiffened this season. He returned on Aug. 25, but admitted the stiffness has lingered.
"If Joe can go out and perform, he's going to be my third baseman, but as a manager I have to prepare myself," Guillen said. "I cannot put him in the lineup one or two days and then he's out of the lineup."
Guillen knows every game the White Sox play is crucial.
"We're in the pennant race," he said. "This is not the Instructional League. This is not a winter league. We have to win every day. With Joe in the lineup, there's no doubt we have a better lineup. I cannot ask, `How do you feel?' This is not spring training. If you're going to take a week to recover, I'm sorry, I can't deal with that."
Crede admitted he's frustrated.
"You want to be out there," he said. "The competitive nature in you always comes out. You want to try to play through it, but your mind says one thing and your body says another. You're always trying to fight through it."
Guillen said Juan Uribe will see the bulk of the time at third when Crede can't play.
With the White Sox off Thursday, Guillen hopes Quentin and Griffey will be ready to play Friday night at home against the Los Angeles Angels.