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SEATTLE – Yoenis Cespedes manages to draw attention to himself on the field, sometimes in a good way and sometimes bad.
He took Oakland A’s fans through a range of emotions in a two-inning span of Sunday’s 3-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Cespedes dropped what should have been a line-drive out off the bat of Corey Hart in the bottom of the seventh. In the top of the eighth, he drilled a two-run homer that broke a scoreless tie, and just like that all was forgiven.
“We’ve seen him do some funny things before, then he comes up big for us,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “It doesn’t surprise me.”
It’s been a somewhat adventurous road trip for Cespedes. He lost a fly ball in the sun in what turned out to be an extra-inning Oakland victory in Minnesota. In the first inning Friday, he over-ran a ball hit by Seattle’s Abraham Almonte that went for a double. On Saturday, he fell victim to the controversial "exchange" rule, jogging back toward the dugout not knowing a liner he hit to left field had been ruled a non-catch, and he was thrown out at first. Then Hart drilled a liner to him Sunday that was knuckling in the air, and it glanced off Cespedes' glove.
But he made up for it with his go-ahead homer, his second long ball of the season. He’s hitting just .234 but his nine RBI are second on the team to Brandon Moss’ 11.
“I tried to fix the bad that I did before,” Cespedes said through interpreter Ariel Prieto. “The bad has already passed, so I don’t care about it.”
The man who plays next to Cespedes, center fielder Coco Crisp, left Sunday's game in the bottom of the eighth with tightness in his left hamstring. Melvin said he was thinking of giving Crisp a night off anyway Monday against Los Angeles Angels left-hander Hector Santiago. The hamstring issue would seem to ensure that Craig Gentry is in the lineup in center for his first start as an Athletic.