OAKLAND -- Last time the Yankees were here they swept the A's. They didn't have to contend with Yoenis Cespedes though. Cespedes was on the disabled list with a left hand strain at the time. It is no secret the A's are a better team when Cespedes is in the lineup. The stats confirm it as well. With their Cuban-born slugger in the order they are 35-24; without him the A's are 12-20. He is hitting .288 this season and seven of his 11 home runs have come with runners on base. Could Cespedes be the difference maker? He hopes so. "I am going to try to concentrate really hard to compete with them, be part of the team and try to win," Cespedes said through interpreter Ariel Prieto. "The last time I didn't have a chance to play them. I felt bad." Cespedes said he is happy to play against the Yankees for the first time. He deemed himself almost 100 healthy after recovering from a left hand strain, left hamstring strain and a sprained left thumb this season. Injuries aside, Cespedes has been a force in the A's lineup. He is on a career-high-tying six-game hitting streak, and is batting .328 (12 for 64) with runners in scoring position. Wednesday he started in left field for the first time since July 8, when he sprained his left thumb. Aside from his health, he says he is feeling a lot better about playing left field for the A's. Playing left field has been an adjustment for Cespedes, who was a centerfielder for most of his professional career, although he did play some left field in Cuba.The A's coaching staff has found something that helps him feel comfortable in in his new position. He plays deeper than the other outfielders, which allows him to use his speed to break in on the ball, and prevents him from making bad reads that allow the ball to go over his head. "I am going to try and do the best I can in left field," Cespedes said. "I feel a lot better right now."
OAKLAND — Their pitching staff got banged up throughout the night, but the A’s hope the only lasting damage they absorbed Tuesday night was on the scoreboard.
In the process of an 11-9 defeat to the Miami Marlins, they lost starting pitcher Jesse Hahn to a strained triceps and first baseman Yonder Alonso to a contusion on his right hand and wrist.
The early diagnosis showed they may have dodged a bullet with Alonso — X-rays came back negative for a fracture after he was hit flush in the wrist area on a pitch from lefty Jarlin Garcia. Alonso initially walked off the field after being hit, but after a few moments re-emerged and took first base to run. He was replaced on defense in the seventh.
“I’ve had some history with my hand,” Alonso said afterward. “I broke it three or four years ago. At the time when I got hit, I felt like that was the case all over again. The pain started going away, that’s when I realized I think I’m OK.”
Alonso’s wrist and hand began to swell while he was running the bases, and he had to exit the game. The first baseman had missed the four previous games with a sore left knee, then proceeded to homer in his first at-bat Tuesday, pulling him back into a tie with Khris Davis for the team homer lead at 13. Suffering another injury in the same game could be classified as rotten timing, but Alonso came away feeling fortunate all things considered.
“I think we got very lucky,” he said. “It got me right on the wrist but a little bit on the hand as well. We’re lucky that there’s no break. You just gotta move forward.”
Manager Bob Melvin said Alonso would be a game-time decision for whether he’ll start Wednesday afternoon’s series finale, but with the A’s off Thursday, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they rested Alonso in an attempt to let him heal up for Friday’s road trip opener against the Yankees.
Hahn’s condition seems more ambiguous, and perhaps more troubling. He said he felt fine warming up before Tuesday’s game, but when he took the mound to warm up before the third, he experienced a drop in velocity and couldn’t figure out why.
“I experienced some tightness near my triceps and a big velocity decrease,” Hahn said. “The ball wasn’t coming out (well) at all. It was a weird feeling. I’ve dealt with elbow (problems) before. Usually for me when I have elbow pain I can feel it on my pitches, and I didn’t feel it. It was kinda weird. … It almost felt like a dead arm.”
Hahn gave up a leadoff single to Christian Yelich in the third, then was taken out of the game. Afterward, he and the training staff discussed the possibility of getting an MRI but nothing had been set in stone.
“I’m throwing the ball as hard as I can and I see 89-90 on the board,” Hahn said. “I know something’s not right. But at the same time, I’m not feeling anything. It leaves you thinking. To be in that state of mind on the mound is not good.”
Should the A’s need to fill Hahn’s rotation spot the next time through, and should they want to dip into the minor league ranks, Daniel Mengden is on the same turn with Triple-A Nashville and threw seven scoreless innings Tuesday (81 pitches). He’s on the 40-man roster. Jharel Cotton and Daniel Gossett also are coming off great outings for Nashville, though their turns in the rotation don’t line up as good with Hahn’s.
OAKLAND -- Justin Bour matched his career high with four hits including his fourth home run in five games to highlight Miami's best offensive game of the season, and the Marlins held off a late surge to beat the Oakland Athletics 11-9 on Tuesday night.
Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon had three hits each on a night when every Miami player had at least one by the third inning. Three other Marlins had two hits apiece while Ichiro Suzuki added a two-run single in his return to the starting lineup.
Miami entered the day with the second-worst record in the majors having dropped 14 of 17 before getting a season-high 19 hits against Oakland in the first meeting between the two clubs since 2014.
Jose Urena (2-2) pitched five uneven innings for his first career interleague win in 10 appearances. The Miami right-hander allowed six runs over five innings, raising his ERA from 1.91 to 3.08.
Jesse Hahn (1-4) took the loss and left the game in the third inning with a triceps strain. He pitched just two innings, giving up five runs on seven hits while striking out two. He gave up a single to Christian Yelich in the third then left after a visit to the mound by the Oakland trainer.
The A's scored three times in the ninth and had the tying runner at the plate with two outs before AJ Ramos struck out Stephen Vogt.
Bour doubled as part of a three-run third, singled and scored in the fifth, homered leading off the seventh then singled again in the ninth. It was Bour's 12th home run this season and eighth in his last 12 games.
Marlins: Wei-Yin Chen received a platelet-rich plasma treatment before the game. The left-hander has been out since early May with arm fatigue. . RHP David Phelps was placed on the bereavement list and is expected to rejoin the team Friday. . Reliever Drew Steckenrider was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans. . RHP Junichi Tazawa (rib cage inflammation) is scheduled to throw a bullpen this weekend.
Athletics: X-rays taken on Alonso's hand were negative. . LHP Sean Doolittle (shoulder strain) will throw a 25-pitch bullpen Wednesday. If all goes well, the former closer could face hitters in his next outing. . RHP Ryan Dull continues to be bothered by soreness in his right knee.
Miami right-hander Edinson Volquez (0-6) pitches the finale of this two-game series Wednesday afternoon while Oakland counters with right-hander Sonny Gray (1-1). Gray is attempting to win consecutive starts for the first time since April 2016.