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Manny Ramirez homers, Oakland beats Milwaukee 8-6

AP - Sports

PHOENIX (AP) Manny Ramirez showed he has plenty of pop left in his bat, hitting his first home run in an Oakland Athletics uniform Tuesday.

While that may have been a significant milestone to some, it wasn't to Ramirez.

''I know what I can do,'' the embattled slugger said after helping the A's to an 8-6 victory over a Milwaukee Brewers split squad.

Ramirez was hitless in the first eight at-bats of his comeback this spring. He snapped out of that funk with a homer to left-center against right-hander Mike Fiers in the second inning.

Ramirez, who has not played in the majors since last April, drew a walk his next time up and then flied out. He had spent the past couple of days in minor league camp getting extra at-bats.

''Everyone is playing year-round and I'm trying to catch up,'' Ramirez said. ''Every time I go (to minor league camp), I love it. If you like to play, you enjoy it - because once you don't have it, you don't have it.''

Ramirez, who turns 40 in May, must serve a 50-game suspension to start the season for a second violation of baseball's drug policy.

His new teammate, Yoenis Cespedes, went hitless for the second consecutive game.

Cespedes, the Cuban outfielder the A's signed to a four-year, $36 million deal, struck out twice and grounded out. Since he homered and had two hits in his Cactus League debut, Cespedes has gone 0 for 6 with three strikeouts. He has seen more breaking balls over the past two games.

''I feel good,'' Cespedes said through a translator. ''The last six at-bats were against different pitchers. I like that. I want to see different pitchers with different mechanics.''

Jarrod Parker, the centerpiece of the package the A's received from Arizona in the Trevor Cahill trade, pitched 3 1-3 scoreless innings. Parker has allowed two runs in 7 1-3 innings this spring.

''I sometimes battle in the spring with the delivery,'' said Parker, who missed 2010 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. ''It's great to be healthy this year and working to get better and stronger. I'm trying to be as efficient as possible. I want to work on what I'm doing here and get ready for the season.''

The Brewers took a 4-2 lead on a three-run homer by catcher Martin Maldonado in the sixth. The A's came back and took the lead with a five-run seventh.

Oakland scored the go-ahead run when Eric Sogard was awarded home plate on interference. Maldonado didn't have the ball when Sogard ran into him in a rundown between third and home.

Milwaukee outfielder Logan Schaefer continued his torrid spring with three more hits. He is batting .588.

Schaefer also cut down a runner at the plate on a perfect throw from left.

Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan had two hits, including a double. He also stole two bases.

NOTES: The A's claimed infielder Brandon Hicks on waivers from the Atlanta Braves. The 26-year-old Hicks batted .048 (1 for 21) during three stints in the majors last year. He is 1 for 26 in parts of the last two seasons. Hicks hit .252 with 18 homers at Triple-A. The A's placed pitcher Brett Anderson on the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Hicks. ... Oakland manager Bob Melvin said any of the five pitchers in the running for the final three rotation spots - Graham Godfrey, Tommy Milone, Brad Peacock, Tyson Ross and Parker - could make the team as a long reliever. ... Hall of Fame OF Rickey Henderson arrived at A's camp. He will begin working with players in big league camp and minor league camp this week.

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