Cespedes drives in 2 as Athletics beat Angels

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 2, 2014 at 7:00 pm •  Published: March 2, 2014
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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run double and the Oakland Athletics defeated the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Sunday.

Cespedes, who hit 26 homers with 80 RBIs last year, lined his hit in the fifth off Joe Blanton. Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson singled earlier in the inning.

Blanton went 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA last season. He gave up two runs and three hits with a walk in 2 1-3 innings. He finished strong in his first appearance of the spring, retiring the last six hitters.

"His fastball-change-up combo was working," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Angels star Albert Pujols went 0 for 3. He struck out, fouled out and grounded into a double play with the bases loaded.

Hector Santiago, one of three starters competing for two open spots at the back end of the rotation, worked 2 2-3 innings and allowed one unearned run with one hit, two walks and three strikeouts.

Santiago has a screwball that Scioscia called "nasty." Santiago said he threw four screwballs, all with good results.

Athletics' starter Jesse Chavez allowed one hit with a walk and two strikeouts in 2 2-3 innings in his second spring start.

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Angels: Scioscia was impressed with Blanton's outing.

"You can see him staying closed a little better," Scioscia said. "He's hiding the ball better. He's worked hard."

Blanton is on the last year of a contract that pays him $7.5 million this season with a $1 million buyout clause. Scioscia hinted this week that Blanton would have to make the club as a starter and he is not likely to keep a long reliever.

Santiago said he threw four screwballs, getting a ground ball and three fruitless swings, one for a strikeout.

"Four for four was a good day," said Santiago, who said he wants to throw more screwballs than he did last year with the Chicago White Sox when he went 4-9 with a 3.56 ERA. "Last year I'd throw four in seven innings. Last year I wanted to throw more. (Angels catcher) Chris (Iannetta) looks like he's going to be calling it, which I'm glad for."

Santiago came over to the Angels along with left-hander Tyler Skaggs in the three-way deal that sent Mark Trumbo to Arizona.

"I had a lot of energy," Santiago said. "I wanted to get off on the right foot."

Athletics: Manager Bob Melvin likes what Chavez can do for Oakland.

"He really found his way with us last year," Melvin said of Chavez, who went 2-4 with one save and a 3.92 ERA in 35 games in 2013. "He pitched the way we heard he had in the minor leagues. He has four pitches, he pitches in relief and as a starter, and those guys are hard to find."

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