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Added March 29th, 2012 by Chalk

Cespedes Homer Helps A’s Beat Mariners in Japan Finale

Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes hit his first major league homer in the seventh inning of Thursday morning’s game against the Seattle Mariners at the Tokyo Dome, giving the Oakland A’s a lead they would never relinquish as they earned a split of the two-game season-opening series. Baseball’s regular season now resumes its hibernation until next Wednesday, with all 30 teams at .500.

Oakland manager Bob Melvin said it was important that baseball sent two of it’s crappiest teams to play two real games in Japan because of last year’s tragic tsunami. “The main reason we came here was because of the tsunami,” said Melvin. “I know MLB has been coming every four years, but the tsunami made this trip happen for sure.”

The Japanese fans were treated to four hits by Ichiro in the series opener, but the fading Japanese star was hitless in the second game.  They also got to see former Devil Ray star Jonny Gomes homer to close out the scoring in the A’s 4-1 win in the finale.

How was the Cuban’s home run? “Loud and fast” was Melvin’s description, adding “It was just a matter of time really. You just feel him getting more comfortable every day. The challenges he faces on the field are probably the easiest for him. He’s been dropped into a situation that is difficult both on and off the field.” The normally frugal A’s lured Cespedes to Oakland with a four-year, $36 million contract this offseason. Watch the home run here.

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