Elaine Thompson Associated Press Yoenis Cespedes watches his first-inning home run fly away. The ball hit off the railing of the upper deck in left field.

Cespedes powers A's past Mariners

Published: Saturday, Jun. 22, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5C
Last Modified: Saturday, Jun. 22, 2013 - 8:16 am

SEATTLE – Yoenis Cespedes just feels more comfortable when he plays the outfield.

Cespedes homered twice, and Bartolo Colon won his seventh straight start to lead the A's past the Seattle Mariners 6-3 on Friday night.

Limited to designated-hitting duty for seven games because of a sore hamstring, Cespedes celebrated his return to left field with a pair of two-run homers.

"Evidently he likes to play the outfield," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "You could see his whole demeanor today, he was just in a better mood."

Jed Lowrie and Coco Crisp also went deep for the A's, who maintained their one-game lead in the American League West over the Texas Rangers.

Cespedes homered in the first inning and again in the ninth for his third career multihomer game – all this month, and all when playing left field.

"I can't say I'm 100 percent yet, but it feels great to play in the outfield," Cespedes said through a translator. "When I'm in the outfield, my body's completely up, my body's on fire. The difference is when I'm a DH and I sit down in the dugout and I'm doing nothing, I feel like I'm going down a little bit."

Cespedes' hitting took some of the spotlight off Colon's pitching, but the 40-year-old right-hander was on top of his game, too. Colon (10-2) gave up three runs and seven hits over eight innings, tying unbeaten Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers for most wins in the A.L.

Colon is 11-1 in his career at Safeco Field, the best record for any pitcher with at least seven decisions in the Mariners' home park.

"He's a veteran guy. He knows himself. He knows what works," said Crisp, who hit a solo homer in the sixth. "It's not a fluke."

Grant Balfour worked the ninth for his 18th save this season and 36th in a row dating to May 5, 2012.

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