Page last updated on Sun Mar 01 14:21:54 EST 2015
03/30/2013 7:41 PM EDT
Cespedes homers in A's win
OAKLAND 4, SAN FRANCISCO 3
By MICHAEL WAGAMAN
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Yoenis Cespedes' slow start to spring
training is a distant memory. Now Oakland's slugging outfielder
is hoping to carry his hot swing into the regular season.
Cespedes homered for the second time in three days, a three-run
shot off San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong, and the Athletics
held on to beat the Giants 4-3 on Saturday in the final tuneup
for both teams.
Unlike his home run two nights earlier off two-time NL Cy Young
winner Tim Lincecum - a towering blast at pitcher-friendly AT&T
Park - Cespedes' three-run shot off Vogelsong just got over the
left field wall and helped cap a big ending to his spring.
It also convinced A's manager Bob Melvin that his powerful
cleanup hitter is ready to go.
"Anybody else, it's a medium fly ball to left (but) he's just
that strong," Melvin said. "He's had a heck of a spring."
The Cuban slugger, who homered on a hanging changeup from
Vogelsong that was on the outer edge of the plate, closed the
exhibition schedule on a 13-for-33 tear, with all six of his
home runs and 13 RBIs coming over the final 11 games.
The six home runs, which came after Cespedes batted just .179 in
his first 11 games, are the most by an A's hitter in the spring
Coco Crisp added two hits and scored twice, and Dan Straily
pitched five scoreless innings for his first win since early in
Marco Scutaro had two hits for San Francisco, which played
without third baseman Pablo Sandoval. The All-Star third baseman
has been bothered by a sore right elbow.
One night after being held to four hits, the A's got a boost
from the top of their lineup and jumped on Vogelsong early.
Crisp and John Jaso combined to score three runs in the first
three innings and reached base five times overall, but it was
Cespedes who provided the key blow.
"I didn't think he got it good enough but he's so strong he got
it over the fence," Vogelsong said. "I thought he hit it off the
end of the bat."
Cespedes' big hit staked Oakland to a 4-0 lead that was enough
support for Straily, who won for the first time since Feb. 27.
The Oakland right-hander pitched five scoreless innings and
finished with five strikeouts.
Bartolo Colon, who will miss the first five games of the season
to finish off a 50-game PED suspension, replaced Straily and got
into trouble in the seventh when he failed to touch first base
while covering on Gregor Blanco's grounder.
After Joaquin Arias singled, Guillermo Quiroz hit a three-run
homer to left that cut the gap to 4-3.
Colon settled down after that and later got Quiroz to ground
into a game-ending double play in the ninth.
The A's success against Vogelsong was even more significant.
Crisp and Jaso opened the first inning with back-to-back singles
before Josh Reddick blooped a hit just inside the left field
line to drive in Crisp.
Vogelsong got some help from the Giants defense in the second
but wasn't so fortunate in the third.
Crisp singled and Jaso walked to open the frame. One out later
Cespedes homered, his second in three days.
The Giants couldn't get anything going offensively until Colon's
error in the seventh set up Quiroz's three-run homer.
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy hoped to get Sandoval into the
game but opted to hold the third baseman out and is unsure if
he'll have the slugger in the lineup Monday when the Giants open
the season against the Dodgers.
The World Series MVP, who left Friday's game with discomfort in
his irritated right elbow, took batting practice and fielded
grounders before the game. Sandoval will go through another
workout on Sunday.
Seeing Sandoval take BP was an encouraging sign for Bochy,
though the Giants haven't ruled out having their All-Star third
baseman open the season on the disabled list either.
"That's the last option we want," Bochy said before the game.
"We're fairly optimistic we won't have to go that route."
NOTES: Straily and Colon did not walk a batter and combined for
11 strikeouts. ... Giants SS Brandon Crawford singled in the
fourth to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. ... San
Francisco backup C Hector Sanchez (shoulder) played in an
extended spring training game Saturday and could possibly join
the big league club in Los Angeles for the opener, according to
Bochy. ... The A's made a series roster moves after the game,
including placing SS Hiro Nakajima on the 15-day DL with a
strained left hamstring. Oakland also optioned LHP Pedro
Figueroa and IF Andy Parrino to Triple-A Sacramento (PCL) and
reassigned RHP Mike Ekstrom, LHP Hideki Okajima and C Luke Montz
to the minor league camp.
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