There were two lessons to be learned on Saturday night in Oakland, and those lessons were simple.
Don't run on Yoenis Cespedes.
Don't pitch to Yoenis Cespedes with the game on the line.
Both are a recipe for disaster, and Cespedes showed the Los Angeles Angels why in Oakland's 11-3 victory.
We've always known Cespedes possesses a cannon for a right arm. The scouting reports say so, and it's supported by his ever-growing highlight reel of terrific throws. He's never been hesitant to show it off, either, but the Angels made it easy for him on Saturday. They challenged him twice in the second inning, and Cespedes was up to the task both times.
The inning started with back-to-back singles by Angels catcher Chris Iannetta and outfielder Kole Calhoun. Iannetta would end up being the first victim as he raced around third on Colin Cowgill's single to left. It was an easy out call at home. However, the play did go under review because the Angels felt that catcher Derek Norris illegally blocked home plate. The umpires disagreed, and the first out was recorded.
After Erick Aybar struck out, Grant Green shot a ball into left field that Calhoun tried to score on from second base. There was no dispute this time. The tag was clean. The block was clean. And the scoreboard remained clean despite four hits in the inning from Los Angeles.
That part in and of itself is pretty rare because it's awfully difficult to do. Four hits in one inning without a run usually requires a baserunning mishap — or two — just like what happened in Oakland. But it has happened one time before this, ironically against the Oakland A's.
The #Angels 2nd inning tonight was the 2nd time this year any team has had 4 hits but 0 runs in a frame. Both came vs. OAK. (also, HOU-4/24)— Matt Birch (@MBirchAngels) June 1, 2014
On that occasion, a double play wiped out the first hit and then there were three straight singles with the runners only advancing 90 feet at a time. The A's won 10-1.
They were also big winners on Saturday, thanks partially to Cespedes' defensive and partially to his offense.
We said don't pitch to him with the game on the line, but the Angels ignored that line of thinking as well. It cost them again, as Cespedes came through with the biggest hit of the game — a go-ahead two-run triple off reliever Joe Smith.
Cespedes also doubled, and then he capped the scoring with a three-run homer.
That's what you call stuffing the statsheet across the board. Three extra-base hits. Five RBIs. Two outfield assists. The only thing he didn't do was pitch a scoreless inning, but maybe that will come somewhere down the road. We can only dream.
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