Kurt Suzuki homers in A’s 12-6 loss to Hanshin
Kurt Suzuki hit his second home run in Japan on Monday in the
Oakland Athletics’ 12-6 loss to the Hanshin Tigers in an exhibition
Oakland shortstop Cliff Pennington led off the fourth inning
with a solo homer and Suzuki, who hit a two-run home run in the
Athletics’ 5-0 win over the Yomiuri Giants on Sunday, connected for
a three-run shot at Tokyo Dome to cut Hanshin’s lead to 7-4.
”I was just trying to put the barrel on the ball and keep it
simple,” Suzuki said. ”When you go out there you can’t take
anything for granted and have to play hard.”
The Athletics are in Japan to open the season against Ichiro
Suzuki and the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday and Thursday.
Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes sat out Monday’s exhibition after
leaving Sunday night’s contest because of cramps in his quadriceps.
Cespedes was 0 for 4 in Sunday’s game against the Giants but is
expected to be in the lineup for Wednesday’s game.
The Tigers took a 7-0 lead through the first three innings,
taking advantage of some sloppy defensive play by the A’s.
In the bottom of the third, Hanshin scored four runs. Former
major leaguer Craig Brazell hit an RBI single to right, scoring
Takeshi Toritani. Tomoaki Kanemoto drove in another run with a
double and Brazell and Kanemoto both scored on a throwing error by
”Today wasn’t our best day,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
”We had a good spring executing defense, but weren’t able to do
that today. Take nothing away from them, we just didn’t play one of
our better games and they took it to us.”
Brazell, who was 2 for 3 Monday and had three hits in his team’s
5-1 win on Sunday, said it was good to face major league pitching
”I was a little nervous at first because it’s been five years
since I hit major league pitching,” Brazell said. ”But to be able
to come out and hit like this gives me a lot of confidence for the
Oakland starter Tyson Ross gave up eight runs – six earned – and
10 hits in just four innings.