Alburquerque's kiss catches A's attention

Alburquerque's kiss catches A's attention
October 7, 2012, 9:17 pm
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DETROIT -- The Oakland A's have lost the first two games of the American League Division Series, but don't believe their 2012 season has been given the kiss of death yet. It was a smooch of a different kind that caught some attention in the clubhouse after the A's 5-4 walk-off loss to the Tigers. In the ninth inning, Oakland was rallying on reliever Phil Coke. The Tigers responded by bringing in pitcher Al Alburquerque to face Yoenis Cespedes with runners on the corners and two outs. Cespedes had already driven in a run, scored a run and stolen two bases. With a 1-1 count, Cespedes hit a come-backer up the middle that was snagged by Alburquerque. After catching the ball he looked toward Cespedes, pulled it out of his glove, kissed it, and threw it to first base to record the final out of the inning.
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In a game of tradition-like baseball, acts like that don't go over too well. The move was met with mixed reaction in the A's clubhouse. "It did get under my skin. It was very unprofessional," Josh Reddick said. "I didn't appreciate that one bit." A couple other A's players chose not to comment on what Alburquerque did. Some said they didn't even see it. Cespedes noticed. "It's okay, it's not a problem for me," Cespedes said through interpreter Ariel Prieto. "When we get to Oakland, I'll hit the ball hard against him and I can kiss my bat."Alburquerque told ESPN Deportes reporter Enrique Rojas that he was just caught up in the moment and didn't mean to offend Cespedes or Oakland. At this level, he should know doing something like that might rub some people the wrong way. The A's are now facing elimination, but the final three games of the series are in Oakland. They certainly won't be lacking motivation to beat the Tigers when they get back home, but if they are looking for a little extra fire, they certainly got it from Alburquerque.

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