DETROIT – The Oakland Athletics breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday when it was learned center fielder Yoenis Cespedes does not have a fractured left hand, only a strain. Cespedes, the Cuban sensation who leads the team in RBIs with 21, might even play Thursday when the Athletics host the Detroit Tigers in the opener of a four-game series.
Cespedes has missed two games since suffering the injury during batting practice Tuesday.
The Athletics are coming off a two-game split with Toronto following Wednesday's 5-2 loss and have won five of their last seven games. The Tigers are 15-15, 6-6 on the road, following their 2-1 setback at Seattle on Wednesday. Detroit's offense mirrors its mediocre record as it sits 15th among the 30 major league teams in runs scored (4.1 per game). Detroit has scored 21 runs in its last seven games.
After two straight losses, Max Scherzer rebounded with his best outing of the season in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox. He allowed one run and four hits in seven innings and received a no-decision. Scherzer is 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA in two starts against Oakland. The Athletics' roster is 8-for-28 against Scherzer with Cliff Pennington and Kurt Suzuki connecting for home runs.
Colon has received two straight no-decisions. He allowed three runs and eight hits in five innings Saturday in Oakland's 4-3 victory at Tampa Bay. Colon is 8-9 in 24 appearances (23 starts) against Detroit with a 5.25 ERA, including 1-1 last season. Current Tigers are hitting .329 against him, with Ramon Santiago 11-for-20 and Miguel Cabrera 3-for-8.
Brandon Inge has appeared in eight games at 3rd base for the A's since Detroit let him go. He has six hits in those eights games and nine RBIs.
Detroit catcher Alex Avila (sore left patellar tendon) could return Thursday and the Tigers certainly hope he does. Avila is 2-for-3 with two homers against Colon.
The Tigers have alternated wins and losses in their last 10 games since losing five straight from April 22-27.
Athletics right-hander Brandon McCarthy will throw a bullpen session Thursday to determine whether he can start Saturday. McCarthy has a sore shoulder.