Yoenis Cespedes Returns to Oakland A's Lineup, Can't Prevent Shutout

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Yoenis Cespedes Returns to Oakland A's Lineup, Can't Prevent Shutout
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Crisp makes nice catch in center

This is becoming an awful habit in the 2012 season for the Oakland A's. Another solid pitching performance goes to waste as the offense is shutout for the 10th time in 52 games, by far the most in baseball.

The loss is Oakland's ninth in a row, as the Royals took the series opener 2-0 at Kauffman Stadium. 

Bartolo Colon was again solid in defeat. Although he allowed eight hits in seven innings, he only allowed two earned runs and kept the A's in contention.

The problem on this night was the pitching of Royals' starter Felipe Paulino. He allowed only three hits in six strong innings, striking out five. The loss puts the A's in last place in the American League West.

The only hitter with multiple hits was the suddenly hot Jemile Weeks. With those two hits, Weeks extended his hitting streak to eight games. The only problem was, Josh Reddick got the only other hit in the game.

Yoenis Cespedes made his return to the lineup, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

The good for Oakland? Bartolo Colon.

Once again, he deserved a better fate for his pitching performance. That is a general theme for much of the pitching in Oakland, though. With only 3.15 runs per game, the A's put far too much pressure on the staff to produce.

The bad? Everyone not named Jemile Weeks, offensively.

One hit in a combined 24 at-bats. That is beyond putrid. It is pathetic and it is becoming apparent that the combination of players in Oakland just are not doing the job. Sadly, there is not much on the horizon other than Manny Ramirez, so the only thing that can hopefully happen is the A's hitters start hitting.

The Ugly? The 10th shutout of the year. That is not very good for an entire season. But in just 52 games? Abysmal. 

Now 22-30 and having lost nine straight, the A's will hand the ball to staff ace Brandon McCarthy tomorrow evening hoping to snap this skid. First pitch is scheduled for 11:10 a.m. 

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