Game 6 wrapup: Cespedes’ elbow sore; Sogard’s defense shines; Donaldson’s big at-bat; Astros’ curious move
Yoenis Cespedes flinched while taking a swing in Saturday’s 6-3 win over Houston, and he admits there is some discomfort in the elbow.
While manager Bob Melvin said the medics would have another look at it and see if Cespedes is good to go Sunday in the series finale, the left fielder didn’t see any reason to come out of the lineup.
“It’s good,’’ he said through interpreter Ariel Prieto. “It was just the one swing.’’
There have, however, but plenty of off-looking swings from Cespedes of late. He struck out three more times Saturday while going 0-for-4, and in his last 20 trips to the plate he’s struck out nine times. A .450 strikeout percentage is nobody’s idea of a good time.
But to hear Cespedes, it’s all good.
“I’m not worried about the elbow,’’ he said. “I’m not worried about the strikeouts. I’m not worried about anything.’’
“I’m seeing pitches well, but I’ve gotten a little crazy with my mechanics. I’m trying to hit the ball ahead instead of waiting for the ball to come to me.’’
And then Cespedes offered the media a little tidbit.
“I’m going to give you guys a lot of home runs this year,’’ he said.
What we’re supposed to do with them no one knows, but A’s fans and his Oakland teammates will take all the home runs Cespedes has to offer. He’s only got three hits this season in six games, a .130 average, but two of the three have been homers.
TRYING TO MAKE THE TEAM
Eric Sogard made the opening day roster, but that isn’t the end of his quest. It’s just the beginning.
Sogard wants to keep his job as the primary second baseman in a platoon with Scott Sizemore, and two plays he made on defense Saturday will help keep him in the lineup.
He started a double play to get Bartolo Colon out of a potential jam in the sixth inning, then made a diving stop, then got up and made a throw for the first out of the eighth.
“Defense is a big part of the job,’’ Sogard said. “I’m not doing as much as I want to on offense right now, but I’ve got the opportunity to make a lot of plays.’’
Sogard did get an RBI single to cap a four-run sixth inning Saturday. But after hitting close to .500 for most of the spring, he’s off to a .188 start now that the games count.
“His defense has been terrific,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s got great timing with his dives. And when you start a double play or take away a hit the way he did tonight, that’s as big as getting a hit in its own way.’’
THE BIG HIT
Josh Donaldson is struggling as much as any hitter wearing an Oakland uniform.
He had just two hits before the sixth inning Saturday when he fell behind in the count against Astros opening day starter Bud Norris. Donaldson worked to get back into the count, the hit a 3-2 pitch to the opposite field for a game-tying single.
“I don’t know if it was my best AB yet, but it was definitely a good AB,’’ Donaldson said. “I feel like I’ve been hitting the ball pretty good, but I haven’t had any of the balls fall in, so that was definitely a nice at-bat to have.’’
Donaldson, as much as anyone, has fallen victim to the wide-open space in Minute Maid Park this weekend. He hit a bomb that was caught at the wall in left-center in the fifth inning Saturday and that ball was a virtual duplicate of a bomb that he unloaded Friday.
“That’s going to happen,’’ he said. “Sooner or later those are going to start falling in.’’
Melvin called Donaldson’s game-tying single the A’s biggest at-bat of the night. And that’s on a night when Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie and Seth Smith all homered.
GOING AGAINST THE BOOK
Houston’s first-year manager, Bo Porter, made the most curious move of the night by bringing in a lefty reliever, Wesley Wright, to face the A’s Derek Norris, a right-hander who generally hits lefties well.
The game was tied at the time and Norris delivered a go-ahead single. Oakland never trailed again.
Asked if he was surprised at such a move from the other manager when going to a right-handed reliever would seem to be the way to go, Melvin couldn’t retreat from the question quickly enough.
“I’ve brought in (lefty) Sean Doolittle to face right-handers,’’ Melvin said. “I don’t know his roster like he does.’’