It’s no secret that the Oakland Athletics will only go as far as Yoenis Cespedes takes them, and his bat lifted them to victory on Sunday afternoon.
The A’s won the third game of a weekend series against the Kansas City Royals 4-3, wrapping up a sweep in the process and pushing the A’s back over the .500 mark at 23-22. Cespedes, whose average had dipped below the .200 mark heading into Sunday’s game, ended up 2-4 with two runs scored. His go-ahead home run in the eighth put the A’s on top for good.
With the recent rash of injuries dealt to Oakland’s outfield crew of Coco Crisp, Chris Young and Josh Reddick, Cespedes seemed to have been struggling with the burden of carrying the entire offense on his shoulders — hence his average heading south of the Mendoza line.
However, he had a hit Saturday night and two more on Sunday, so perhaps he’s grown more comfortable at the plate. The A’s will open a series on Monday night in Arlington with the AL West-leading Texas Rangers, and their cause would be aided greatly by a productive Cespedes mashing balls all over the hitter-friendly confines of the Ballpark in Arlington.
Crisp and Young are healthy and back in the A’s lineup, and it’s easy to see that their presence helped the A’s win all three games of this weekend set. Crisp is key particularly, as his leadoff skills allow hitters such as Jed Lowrie and John Jaso to assume their regular spots in the lineup (Lowrie seems to be most productive out of the two-hole).
But as always, it all goes back to Cespedes, and hopefully Sunday’s game was a sign that he’ll start heating up soon.