Melvin moves Cespedes into cleanup spot

Melvin moves Cespedes into cleanup spot

Melvin moves Cespedes into cleanup spot
OAKLAND -- As if he needed one at all, manager Bob Melvin kept his explanation for placing Yoenis Cespedes in the cleanup spot Saturday rather brief.

"What the heck?" he said, smiling.

His grin proved contagious with surrounding reporters, considering everyone was still thinking about the outfielder's second home run in three games Friday night -- a tape-measure shot calculated by ESPN at 462 feet.

"He's a power bat, and we'll continue to move [the lineup] around a bit, but I think he's swinging pretty well," Melvin said. "You're going to see some strikeouts, but you're also going to see a guy that's going to run into one, and when he does and there's somebody on base, it's usually worth a couple, so he'll hit fourth today."

Against one of the game's best, no less. For the second time already this season, the A's on Saturday were forced to face Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, who has a 2.47 ERA with 148 strikeouts in 22 career starts against Oakland. Cespedes is responsible for one of those strikeouts, but he also doubled off the righty in his other at-bat in Tokyo last week.

Elsewhere in the lineup, Josh Reddick made his second straight appearance in the third hole, while Brandon Allen got the nod at first base and Eric Sogard started at third. Melvin said Sogard will continue to see action against right-handers but that Josh Donaldson will still receive the majority of starts at the hot corner.

"Our whole lineup is still a work in progress," Melvin said. "We're trying to find the right mix. We have a lot of new guys here that have not played together before, and we had a shortened spring. This is the first time we're able to get the same group out there, so it's going to be mix and match."