SEATTLE -- The Oakland Athletics locked down homefield advantage for the first round of the postseason Friday night, but in the process they may have lost the ability to play Yoenis Cespedes in left field for the near future.
Bartolo Colon allowed two solo home runs and not much else over six innings in leading the Athletics to an 8-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners in Safeco Field.
That, coupled with Detroit's 3-2 loss in Miami, means the Athletics will host Games 1 and 2 of the American League Division Series starting next Friday. Game times haven't been announced, and the opponent is yet to be determined.
Oakland is likely to face the Tigers, but if the Athletics win their last two games and the Boston Red Sox lose their last two, the A's would face the wild-card team instead. That competition is down to Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Texas.
Colon was backed by a three-run homer from Brandon Moss in the first inning and a two-run, pinch-hit homer from Derek Norris in the seventh en route to his 18th win of the season.
That performance was somewhat mitigated by the loss of Cespedes to more problems with his right (throwing) shoulder.
The bad turn came in the bottom of the fourth when Cespedes had to leave the game because of a reoccurrence of the shoulder soreness. he hadn't played in the field since Sept. 13 before Friday.
Now the Athletics have to consider the possibility that Cespedes will be able to play only as the designated hitter in the early stages of the postseason at least.
Oakland had not scored a run against Felix Hernandez in two previous meetings stretched out over 14?2/3 innings this season, but that streak didn't last long.
Leadoff hitter Coco Crisp got the Athletics started with the first of his four hits, a double, and one out later, Jed Lowrie's single moved Crisp to third base in front of Moss.
The outfielder/first baseman hadn't been the D.H. in the first 159 games of the season, but with Cespedes seemingly healthy and first baseman Daric Barton hitting well, Moss was looking at being the primary D.H. heading into the playoffs.
And designated or not, the man can hit. He launched his 29th homer of the season into the deepest part of right field to give the Athletics and Colon an early 3-0 lead.
Colon gave one of those runs back almost immediately as the second Mariners' batter, Franklin Gutierrez, unloaded with a line shot to deep left field to get Seattle on the board.
Both starters settled in at that point. Hernandez allowed just two hits and a walk over the next five innings while Colon allowed just one walk in the next 4?2/3 innings before Kendrys Morales blasted a solo shot to right with two out in the sixth to close Oakland's lead to 3-2.
The Athletics had made Hernandez throw 106 pitches in the first six innings, so Seattle manager Eric Wedge, who announced before the game that he's was quitting after handling the Mariners this weekend, went to lefty reliever Oliver Perez.
Operating on the "anybody's better to face than Felix" philosophy, the Athletics struck quickly on a Josh Reddick walk and Norris' pinch-hit homer to get the lead back to three at 5-2. Oakland scored one more run in the seventh and two more in the eighth to take control.
Nate Freiman took batting practice before Friday's game and it seems that the first baseman's abdominal problems are behind him and he'll be able to be on the postseason roster.
It's beginning to look increasingly as if Kurt Suzuki won't be on the postseason roster. The veteran catcher has started just one game since Sept. 13.
Norris' pinch-hit homer was his third of the year. He's the fifth Athletics hitter to do that and the first since Jeff Burroughs in 1982.
Crisp's four hits give him a .311 average in his last 33 games and a .263 average overall.
The Athletics' players met before the game and voted on how postseason shares will be divided.
Colon will have to wait to see if he's the A.L. ERA champion. He is at 2.65. The Tigers' Anibal Sanchez, who starts Saturday in Miami, is at 2.64. Hideki Iwakuma, who isn't due to pitch this weekend for the Mariners, is at 2.66.
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