Injuries have sidelined Yoenis Cespedes for a lot of his two-year career, but when he’s healthy, he’s one of the MLB’s best players.
Cespedes cranked two home runs and showed off his impressive bat speed against Hisashi Iwakuma and the Seattle Mariners in a 6-3 win. Home runs accounted for all of the runs at pitcher-friendly Safeco Field, and the Oakland A’s ended up with four. Bartolo Colon let Nick Franklin obliterate a home run in the third inning, but he settled down after that.
Colon dominated, as he twirled an eight-inning gem. Colon only threw 97 pitches and could have finished off the game, but automatic closer Grant Balfour was called upon to finish the game. Balfour did just that, registering his 18th save of the year and his 36th consecutive save.
Cespedes hit a two-run bomb to put the A’s on top early, and he gave the A’s some insurance runs with a two-run shot in the ninth. Jed Lowrie tied the game in the fourth with a home run, and Coco Crisp gave the A’s the lead in the sixth with another solo shot. Iwakuma entered with a 2.06 ERA, but the A’s hammered him for the second time in Iwakuma’s last two starts.
Iwakuma lasted seven innings, but his ERA jumped to 2.26. Colon’s ERA increased slightly to 2.93, and he registered his 10th win of the season. Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers accomplished an incredible feat by winning his first 10 decisions, but Colon hasn’t been too bad either.
Cespedes hasn’t either. He’s somehow hitting just .233, but he has showed off his power often this year. He’s on pace for 31 home runs, even though he has missed time due to injury. Lowrie, who scored twice off of two hits, is hitting .298 and is dominating in the 3-hole.
The A’s are now 44-32, and they have the third-best record in baseball. The Texas Rangers rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals today, so the A’s didn’t add to their AL West lead, but they held on to first place. Oakland is a game ahead of the Rangers and 11.5 games ahead of the 32-43 Mariners.
Oakland was coming off of a series loss to the Rangers, but it got the momentum back with tonight’s win. Dan Straily will pitch tomorrow for the A’s, and he’ll face Aaron Harang.