(Sports Network) - Perhaps the return of Yoenis Cespedes will provide the
spark the Oakland Athletics have lacked over the last week. The A's try to
make it two straight wins on Monday when they open a three-game series against
the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at O.co Coliseum.
Cespedes returned in dramatic fashion on Sunday, as he clobbered a game-tying
home run in the ninth inning, setting the stage for Oakland's thrilling 9-8,
10 inning win over the Baltimore Orioles.
"(Cespedes) takes pressure off everybody in the lineup," A's manager Bob
Melvin said. "Even when he's not swinging well, I think guys have less
pressure on themselves. The other team is always aware of where he is, and
therefore to have someone like that to impact the lineup, it helps everyone
Cespedes finished the game 2-for-5 with two runs scored, while Seth Smith hit
a two- run homer and drove in three and Josh Donaldson added a two-run double
for the A's, who won for only the second time in their last nine games.
"We just needed to win," Melvin said. "We needed to fight, and we needed to
claw back and do something good and win a game more than anything."
Getting the call for the A's on Monday will be Daniel Straily, who steps in
for the injured Brett Anderson. Anderson is still bothered by a sprained
ankle, but it seems as if he'll avoid a trip to the disabled list.
"It's getting better each day," Anderson said. "I think skipping one time
through will just give me the insurance to be sure it's right. It should clear
up all the soreness, so I can just get back to pitching."
Straily won his first start against Houston back on April 5, holding the
Astros to two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. He also struck out 11 in
Los Angeles, meanwhile, will turn to the returning Tommy Hanson, who has been
away from the team on the bereavement list following the death of his
"I threw when I was (in Georgia)," Hanson said. "It's not the same as getting
bullpens in and working out. I worked out at a hotel gym and did some shoulder
stuff and ran, and a little bit of core stuff. I threw a bullpen after the
game (Saturday) night. The bullpen was good. It's not going to be the same as
if you're here, but I am ready to go into my start."
Hanson hasn't pitched since April 19 when he beat Detroit to improve to 2-1 to
go along with a 4.24 ERA.
Los Angeles' struggles continued this weekend against Seattle, as the Angels
dropped three of four to the Mariners, culminating with a 2-1 loss on Sunday
at Safeco Field.
The Angels have now lost four of five.
Angels starter Jason Vargas (0-3) went the distance but remained winless on
the season. The former Mariner struck out seven and yielded just two runs and
six hits in eight innings of work.
"I thought Vargas pitched a great game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of
his starter. "Just a couple mistakes there late and Bay and Morse didn't miss
them and that ended up being the ballgame, but he pitched a great game."
Oakland swept the Angels earlier in the season.
The Sports Network