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Cespedes starts ALDS Game 1 in left field

Cespedes starts ALDS Game 1 in left field

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OAKLAND -- Despite dealing with an ailing right shoulder in recent weeks, A's slugger Yoenis Cespedes was deemed healthy enough to start Game 1 of the American League Division Series in left field on Friday.

"He told me yesterday he was going to be OK today," said manager Bob Melvin. "There was no decision-making issues today, based on how he came in and how he felt.

"Anywhere we can get him in the lineup is big. He has a lot of range in the outfield. He cuts down the running game out there. There is a lot more to his game than just the power portion of it. Defensively he does a fine job for us, so anytime we can get an added defensive upgrade out there, we're surely looking to get him in the outfield."

Cespedes has played only three innings in the field since Sept. 14, and there was concern heading into the series opener against Detroit that his shoulder would limit him to designated-hitter duties. But those belonged to Brandon Moss on Friday.

Moss is batting fourth against righty Max Scherzer, with Cespedes hitting behind him in the fifth spot.

Cespedes batted a team-leading .316 (6-for-19) with two RBIs as a rookie in his postseason debut last year.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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