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Hosmer homers, drives in four for Royals in loss

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POSTED March 11, 2012 7:37 p.m.

PHOENIX (AP) — After a strong debut, Yoenis Cespedes struggled in his second spring game in the majors.

A day after the Cuban defector homered in his first game, he went hitless in three at-bats, with a walk, in the Oakland A's 10-8 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

"I thought he had some decent at-bats," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "He didn't have the results he had yesterday, but I think we can give him a break. We were probably all expecting him to get three more hits and hit a couple home runs, but he looks good up there. They threw him some good pitches."

Cespedes flied out, lined out and struck out. He also drew a walk and was shaken up briefly when he fouled a ball off the top of his left foot, but stayed in the game.

He is 2 for 6 in his two games with the A's, who signed him to a four-year, $36-million deal earlier this month. Cespedes, who was the designated hitter on Sunday, is scheduled to play next on Tuesday, when he'll be back in center field.

Kansas City's Eric Hosmer drove in four runs, including two on his first homer of the spring.

"It kind of gets the monkey off your back a little bit," Hosmer said. "It's a good feeling getting that swing and building off it for the rest of spring training."

Hosmer, who hadn't homered in his first 17 spring training at-bats, hit it off left-hander Tommy Milone. Last year Hosmer hit .237 with only one of his 19 homers against left-handed pitchers.

"This was a guy who keeps you off balance and changes speeds a lot, so I was just focusing on taking that ball to left-center," said Hosmer, who lifted his average to .316. "It was a changeup, and I stayed on it."

Milone, a leading candidate for one of the three vacant spots in the rotation, gave up just those two runs in 3 2-3 innings. He's allowed three earned runs in 8 2-3 innings this spring.

"I feel good," he said. "Since the first bullpen session, I've really had the command that I want. I've thrown strikes and kept the ball low. I've felt more in season form now than in previous years. Usually it comes a little later."

Royals starter Bruce Chen bounced back for a rough first start to give up one run in three innings.

NOTES: Eric Sogard's three-run double in the eighth gave the A's a two-run lead. ... With two outs in the ninth and the potential tying run in scoring position, A's 2B Adam Rosales saved the game with a diving stop of Kevin Kouzmanoff's grounder. ... The A's optioned LHP Sean Doolittle and OF Jermaine Mitchell and reassigned RHP Edgar Gonzalez, RHP Sonny Gray, RHP Jim Miller, RHP Merkin Valdez, LHP Fabio Castro, C Max Stassi, OF Michael Choice, OF Grant Green, OF Cedric Hunter and OF Jason Pridie. ... Oakland 1B Daric Barton is scheduled to make his spring debut as the DH on Monday against the White Sox. Barton has been out because of a biceps problem. He also underwent shoulder surgery last year. Barton is unlikely to be ready to for the opener on March 29 in Japan. ... Oakland's Kila Ka'aihue hit a two-run homer against his former team. ... Royals reliever Jonathan Broxton gave up an unearned run in 2-3 of inning in a 'B' game against the Rangers. Broxton gave up a hit and two walks and he struck out one. Broxton, who has been coming back from elbow surgery, is scheduled to pitch Wednesday in a regular exhibition game. ... Mike Montgomery, one of the Royals' top prospects, was charged with five runs in 2-3 of an inning against the A's.

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