Thursday, March 29, 2012

Oakland Comes Back, Tops Mariners on Yoenis Cespedes HR, Bartolo Colon's 8 Strong

Players of the Day for Thursday, March 29, 2012

American League
Yoenis Cespedes

Oakland center fielder Yoenis Cespedes cracked a long home run to left center field in the bottom of the seventh inning to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-0 advantage, leading the A's to their first win of 2012, a 4-1 victory over Seattle.

Bartolo Colon
Seattle had taken the lead in the top of the inning on Justin Smoak's solo home run off A's starter Bartolo Colon. After Josh Reddick's solo shot following Cespedes' blast put the A's up 3-1, Colon returned for the 8th inning, setting down the A's in order to complete a stellar first performance as an Athletic, allowing just three hits and one earned run over eight full innings. Colon, traded to the Mariners from the Yankees in the off-season, struck out six and walked one.

Jonny Gomes socked a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth to complete the scoring before Grant Balfour came on to pitch a perfect 1-2-3 inning to earn the save.

Cespedes, a rookie, had his first major league homer in just his sixth at-bat. He finished the day 1-for-3 with two RBI.

The game was the second in an MLB opening series played in Tokyo, Japan. Seattle won the opener, 3-1, on Wednesday. The two squads will return to the states and back to their spring training facilities in preparation of the American opening day, which begins next week.

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