Left-hander allows two runs with five strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings
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FRANCISCO -- Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick each hit impressive home runs to pace the Oakland A's to a 7-3 win at AT&T Park on Thursday night in the opener of a three-game exhibition series.
Cespedes hit his second home run of the spring against Giants starter Tim Lincecum, launching a two-run shot halfway up the left-field bleachers in the top of the fourth inning to give the A's a 2-1 lead. After the Giants tied it at 2-2 in the bottom of the frame, Oakland opened it up with a four-run outburst in the fifth, highlighted by Reddick's three-run blast to right field.
Lincecum was roughed up in his fifth and final start of the spring, giving up five earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out six in 4 2/3 innings of work. Despite his final line, the San Francisco right-hander sounded content with his stuff on Thursday night.
"The ball had some good movement on it," Lincecum said. "I missed some spots there, you know, Cespedes. But all in all, things were coming out of the hand well. A little bit of tough luck there but hopefully that'll change in the season."
Lincecum said he might have got a little "changeup-happy," throwing the offspeed pitch when he should have been throwing fastballs. He also said Cespedes' mammoth shot came on a changeup that hung up in the zone too much. In all, Lincecum threw 81 pitches, 52 for strikes, wrapping up his 2013 spring with a 10.57 ERA.
"You want take something from it [spring ERA], but you don't want to take everything away from it," Lincecum said. "Just because we were down in Arizona the whole time and it's a different type of game. Guys are trying different things so you take that out of it, but you still have to compete and you still want to throw better numbers up there than I did."
Linecum's counterpart, Tommy Milone, wrapped up his spring with a solid effort, tossing 4 2/3 innings of two-run ball. He gave up five hits and two walks while striking out five, giving him a spring ERA of 4.63 across five starts.
Up Next for the A's: The A's will play the second of a three-game exhibition set against the Giants on Friday, with right-hander A.J. Griffin scheduled to make his final tune-up before his season debut against the Mariners next week. Lefty Barry Zito is set to start for San Francisco, with first pitch at AT&T Park slated for 7:15 p.m. PT.