Cleveland Indians outfielder Choo Shin-soo watches his home run in the fourth inning. ( AP-Yonhap News)
GOODYEAR, Arizona (AP) ― Dustin Moseley was told to lighten up for a change. He did, and it worked wonders.
Moseley, loosening the grip on his changeup, pitched three scoreless innings and Will Venable had three hits to help the San Diego Padres beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2 Saturday.
“I thought his stuff was very crisp,” Padres manager Bud Black said of Moseley, working his way back from shoulder surgery on Aug 3. “He had command of his fastball. He did all the things you look for in an all-around Dustin Moseley performance.”
Choo Shin-soo hit his second home run and doubled for Cleveland. Rookie Russ Canzler had an RBI double in the seventh off new Padres closer Huston Street.
“He had quality at-bats all day,” Indians manager Manny Acta said of Choo, who was 2 for 2 with a walk. Choo made three trips to the disabled list last year and hit a career-low .259 with only eight homers.
Moseley had a career-best 3.30 ERA in 2011, but went only 3-10 in 20 games in his first season in San Diego. He gave up two runs in his first two innings this spring, but was sharp against Cleveland, allowing one hit and striking out three.
He said a tip from pitching coach Darren Balsley paid off. Balsley thought Moseley was gripping his changeup too tightly.
“I made a little adjustment and had a much better change because of the lighter grip,” the right-hander said. “I bounced some and got some bad swings.”
Indians starter Justin Masterson struck out four and gave up one run and four hits over three innings. That was a marked improvement from his spring debut in which was tagged for six runs and walked three over 1 1-3 innings.
Cuba’s Cespedes homers in debut
PHOENIX (AP) ― Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin joked before the game that he’d love to see Yoenis Cespedes hit three homers, steal three bases and rob a hitter of a home run in center field in his first major league game Saturday.
He gladly settled for what the Cuban defector delivered ― a solo homer and an RBI single ― in Oakland’s 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds. What impressed Melvin more than those two big hits, however, was Cespedes’ patience in his first big league at-bat, when the swift center fielder didn’t take a single swing while drawing a walk off right-hander Johnny Cueto.
“This is the day we were waiting for,” Melvin said. “There was a pretty bright spotlight on him today, so for him to be able to go up there and take a walk his first at-bat, I think impressed me as much as the other at-bats.”