Is Cespedes back and primed for a run?

Moss: 'It's definitely a good team game today'

Is Cespedes back and primed for a run?
July 28, 2013, 8:15 pm
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I've been working hard every day to get the swing that I had today. I want to get back to how it felt last year.
Yoenis Cespedes

OAKLAND -- Is Yoenis Cespedes back?

"The way I felt today after my first at-bat, I think so," the A's slugging left fielder said in Spanish. "Yes."

Consider: Cespedes entered the day 0-for-his-previous-12, and then struck out looking in his first plate appearance. From that point on, though, Cespedes doubled, driving in two runs, singled on a ball lost in the sun by Angels center fielder Mike Trout, which brought home another run, then added another run-scoring double. Even in his last at-bat, he drove Trout to the edge of the warning track in straightaway center.

So yeah, Cespedes' career-long homerless streak reached 25 games, but his swing seems to be something for opposing pitchers to fear again. And his four-RBI game tied a career high.

"I've been working hard every day to get the swing that I had today," he said, adding that he's been watching video to get his swing right. "I want to get back to how it felt last year."

In 2012, Cespedes led the A's with a .292 average while hitting 23 home runs and driving in 82 in 129 games.

After Sunday's 10-6 defeat of the Los Angeles Angels, Cespedes it batting .226 with 15 homers and 47 RBI in 85 games. The A's, though, are 19 games over .500 and enjoy a six-game lead over Texas in the American League West. He missed the first four games after the All-Star break with a sore left wrist. This after he won the Home Run Derby.

Since Cespedes joined the team last year, Oakland is 135-76 (.640, which translates to a 104-58 record over a season) with him in the lineup, but just 21-35 (.375, which translates to 61-101) when he does not play.

"It's a team," he said. "Not just one or two guys. Everybody has to work together to win games."

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Jarrod Parker said he "battled" himself throughout his start, which had a little something to do with his career-high seven walks, the most free passes an A's pitcher has issued since Trevor Cahill walked seven Kansas City Royals on June 14, 2011.

"I wasn't in command as I wanted to be," he said. "I feel like I kind of let our guys down."

Even as Parker trailed 5-0 after two innings, his teammates picked him up. He was in position to be the losing pitcher as he was the A's pitcher of record when they trailed 6-5.

Instead, the A's rallied and Parker tied an Oakland record with his sixth consecutive no-decision, along with Mike Norris, Rick Langford and Carlos Reyes.

And despite giving up four hits in the first inning, Parker also tied Rich Harden's franchise mark with his 11th straight game allowing five hits or fewer in at least three innings.

"Something this team does well is pick each other up," said Parker, who went five-plus innings.

"Some guys have yet to play their best ball."

***

The A's are 7-0 with catcher Stephen Vogt in the starting lineup…Oakland improved to 9-4 against the Angels…the A's overcoming the five-run deficit Sunday marked the third time this season they've come back to win from being five runs down, along with April 28 at Baltimore and April 29 against the Angels.