OAKLAND -- On Friday Yoenis Cespedes left the game with a right wrist sprain. Saturday morning he sat in the clubhouse playing cards with interpreter Ariel Prieto. His right wrist wasn't taped, and he was using his right hand freely. He was in good spirits, dancing and messing around with teammates.
REWIND: Cespedes leaves game
In other words he looked fine. A's manager Bob Melvin said on Saturday that Cespedes' injury didn't appear to be serious. He took swings in the cage and could be available as a pinch hitter for Melvin.
Neither X-ray nor MRI was necessary. Cespedes has missed 32 games this season. He missed 22 games with a left hand strain from May 7-31. He also strained his left hamstring and sprained his left thumb this season. Melvin says this injury is less serious than the left hand strain that landed him on the DL. The A's are 46-28 with the Cuban-born slugger in the lineup, and 12-20 when he doesn't play.
At Mesa, Arizona, Matt Szczur keyed a three-run second inning for the World Series champions and Charcer Burks hit a solo homer in front of 14,929 fans.
Burks also had a diving catch in left field with two on and one out in the eighth inning.
Matt Joyce hit a solo home run in his first game with Oakland and Matt Chapman tied it 3-all with a two-run drive in the fourth. Rajai Davis, who hit a tying home run off Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning of last year's World Series Game 7, opened the game for the Athletics with a walk, then stole second and third but was stranded when Stephen Vogt flied out.
A's starter Jesse Hahn allowed three runs, all in the second, including a two-run single by Szczur that deflected off the pitcher's glove.
MESA, Ariz. – The Cactus League crowds are different than the ones packed into Wrigley Field. It was only a meaningless split-squad game on a Saturday afternoon in the Arizona sunshine. Finally winning the World Series must have somewhat dulled the edge.
But Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward still thought Rajai Davis would hear it from the sellout crowd of 14,929 at Sloan Park, the what-could-have-been anxiety bubbling up when seeing the Oakland A's leadoff guy who nearly changed the course of baseball history.
"I was surprised he didn't get booed more, but that's just how our fans are," Heyward said. "They're fun like that. They have fun with the game. They acknowledge it. That's pretty cool for Cubs fans to boo you. If anybody boos you from last year, that's kind of an honor, I would say. To be on that side of things, it means you did something great."
As Alfonso Soriano liked to say, they don't boo nobodies. With one big swing, Davis almost unleashed a miserable winter for the Cubs and ended the Cleveland Indians' 68-year drought.
Manager Joe Maddon kept pushing closer Aroldis Chapman, who fired 97 pitches in Games 5, 6, and 7 combined. Davis timed seven straight fastballs in the eighth inning – the last one at 97.1 mph – and drove a Game 7-tying two-run homer just inside the foul pole and onto the left-field patio. In a now-famous rain-delay speech, Heyward gathered his teammates in a Progressive Field weight room as the Cubs regained their composure.
"They booed him, but only the first at-bat," Heyward said. "The second at-bat and the third, I was like: ‘Eh, they kind of just let him off the hook.' They let him be."
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