Oakland at Seattle

Cespedes breaks stalemate with HR; A's shut out Mariners

CBSSports.com wire reports

SEATTLE -- Another well-pitched game for the Oakland Athletics came with a price.

Scott Kazmir threw six sharp innings before leaving with tightness in his left triceps, and Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run homer that broke a scoreless tie in the eighth that lifted the A's past the Seattle Mariners 3-0 on Sunday.

Kazmir called it was "a very, very minor" injury. He said it won't cause him to miss a start, but the A's have reason to be cautionary.

This spring the club lost staff ace Jarrod Parker to season-ending elbow surgery and A.J. Griffin is sidelined for perhaps the first two months with a strained forearm.

Oakland's staff has an AL-leading 2.17 ERA.

"It's exciting to have guys follow up a quality start, one after another, one through five. It really is exciting," Kazmir said. "We just want to keep going out there and keep making quality pitches and quality outings, all of us."

Kazmir pitched two-hit ball, striking out nine without a walk.

A's manager Melvin said that the first time he noticed Kazmir was affected by the tightness was at the end of the sixth. Kazmir had a similar issue during training camp, missing one start with triceps tightness.

"Everything checked out as far as his strengthening and what he does after a game," Melvin said. "He wanted to go back out but you have to be careful with a guy like that."

Mariners star Robinson Cano said Kazmir was exceptionally tough.

"He was making guys chase his slider and throwing the heater at 95," Cano said.

Cespedes pulled a 2-2 slider from Charlie Furbush (0-1) into the left-field bullpen. Cespedes' second homer of the season came after Jed Lowrie drew a leadoff walk.

Josh Donaldson added a solo home run in the ninth, his third, off Lucas Luetge.

Dan Otero (2-0) retired two batters in the seventh. Luke Gregerson worked the eighth and Sean Doolittle allowed one hit in the ninth for his first save.

Chris Young made his first start since Sept. 9, 2012, while with the New York Mets. Troubled by shoulder problems all last season, he went to spring camp this year with the Nationals, was released and signed during the last week of training camp by Seattle.

Young pitched six shutout innings, giving up four hits. He walked three and struck out two.

Young's other outing for Seattle was a two-inning scoreless stint in relief.

"I was really, really pleased with his outing," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He got a lot of flyball outs, teased them up in the zone a bit. I think he is close. I saw his breaking ball coming today. When that pitch comes for him, he's going to be pretty tough."

Kazmir didn't allow a runner and struck out six the first time through the lineup. The Mariners got back-to-back, one-out singles by Brad Miller and Cano in the fourth, but Kazmir retired Corey Hart on a grounder and struck out Justin Smoak with a 78 mph changeup.

The Mariners' only other scoring threat came with two outs in the sixth when Brad Miller sent right fielder Eric Sogard to the wall to bring down his flyball.

Cano, who singled in the fourth, has a 14-game hitting streak against Oakland dating to Sept. 22, 2012.


Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon isn't sure about Major League Baseball's expanded replay format. "I'm really worried about where we're heading with replays, the effect it's having on the game, the effect it's having on the fans," McClendon said. "It's confusing." McClendon is concerned about the outfield transfer rule, when umpires look to be sure fielders successfully switch the ball from the glove to their hands. The Mariners already have had three such plays this season, with mixed results. "It was made for the play at second, on the double-play ball," Melvin said. "I don't think anyone thought it would come into play in the outfield as you're seeing right now." Both managers have had to talk to their players to be certain that runners go against their instincts and watch the umpires, not the play, in order to advance or hold. "I think the players are struggling more than the managers," McClendon said. "Initially, I thought I'd be a fan of it. But I'm not so sure now." ... Mariners top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker (shoulder) is scheduled to make another rehab start Tuesday in the minors. Seattle has an open spot in the rotation for that day, but McClendon said he doesn't know when Walker will be called up.

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Scott Kazmir continues to endear himself with his new team, delivering his third quality start in as many appearances.  (Getty Images)
Scott Kazmir continues to endear himself with his new team, delivering his third quality start in as many appearances. (Getty Images)

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Oakland Athletics
Coco Crisp, CF4020012 .304
   Craig Gentry, CF1000000 .000
John Jaso, C4010123 .280
Josh Donaldson, DH5111005 .222
Brandon Moss, 1B3010001 .311
   a-Jed Lowrie, PH0000100 .242
   Daric Barton, PR-1B1100000 .095
Yoenis Cespedes, LF3112103 .234
Alberto Callaspo, 3B4000011 .345
Josh Reddick, RF3010101 .111
Nick Punto, SS3010111 .235
Eric Sogard, 2B4000003 .185
Scott Kazmir, P0000000 .000
   Fernando Abad, P0000000 .000
   Dan Otero, P0000000 .000
   Luke Gregerson, P0000000 .000
   Sean Doolittle, P0000000 .000
a-walked for Moss in the 8th
HR - Josh Donaldson (3, Luetge), Yoenis Cespedes (2, Furbush)
RBI - Josh Donaldson (8), Yoenis Cespedes 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Donaldson (1)
SB - Coco Crisp (3, 2nd base off C. Young/Zunino)
Team LOB - 10
E - Yoenis Cespedes (1, Dropped line drive)
Oakland Athletics
Scott Kazmir 6200090 1.40
Fernando Abad 0.1000000 0.00
Dan Otero (W,2-0) 0.2000000 1.50
Luke Gregerson (H,3) 1000000 1.35
Sean Doolittle (S,1) 1100020 1.17
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 82-61, Fernando Abad 3-2, Dan Otero 5-3, Luke Gregerson 11-8, Sean Doolittle 17-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 4-5, Dan Otero 1-2, Luke Gregerson 1-2, Sean Doolittle 1-0
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 20, Fernando Abad 1, Dan Otero 3, Luke Gregerson 3, Sean Doolittle 4
Seattle Mariners
Abraham Almonte, CF4000020 .217
Brad Miller, SS4010020 .224
Robinson Cano, 2B4020000 .333
Corey Hart, DH4000022 .188
Justin Smoak, 1B3000013 .220
Stefen Romero, RF2000010 .133
   a-Logan Morrison, PH-RF1000001 .150
Kyle Seager, 3B3000010 .121
Mike Zunino, C3000020 .257
Willie Bloomquist, LF3000000 .286
Chris Young, P0000000 .000
   Yoervis Medina, P0000000 .000
   Charlie Furbush, P0000000 .000
   Lucas Luetge, P0000000 .000
a-fouled out for Romero in the 7th
Team LOB - 4
Seattle Mariners
Chris Young 6400320 0.00
Yoervis Medina 1100110 1.50
Charlie Furbush (L,0-1) 1222111 7.36
Lucas Luetge 1111011 18.00
WP - Chris Young (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Young 97-60, Yoervis Medina 18-9, Charlie Furbush 22-14, Lucas Luetge 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Young 4-12, Yoervis Medina 2-0, Lucas Luetge 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Young 25, Yoervis Medina 5, Charlie Furbush 6, Lucas Luetge 4
Game Information
Attendance - 22628
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Pat Hoberg