OAKLAND -- An interesting three days for A's center fielders ended Wednesday in a 5-4 loss to the Angels.
Starting center fielder Coco Crisp came out of Monday's 19-inning game with a hamstring injury and went on the disabled list Wednesday. Chris Young, who moved to center when Crisp departed, left Monday's game a little later with a quad injury, tested it before Wednesday's game and still doesn't know when he might be ready to go.
Yoenis Cespedes, who began the 2012 season as the A's center fielder and who is the de facto center fielder with Crisp and Young out, had his own issues Wednesday. He singled, was twice hit by pitches, scored the A's first run, had a run-in with the warning track at the center field fence and overslid second base as the potential tying run in the ninth inning.
Cespedes, hit by a pitch for the second time in the game to lead off the ninth inning, wanted to get into scoring position with the A's down 5-4. He got a great jump against Angels' closer Ernesto Frieri, but the momentum of his slide carried him past the bag and he was tagged out.
While Frieri walked two more batters in the ninth, the A's couldn't extend their streak of 13 consecutive wins against American League West teams.
"He certainly wasn't trying to go by the bag, but his velocity carried him," manager Bob Melvin said.
Cespedes, who declined to talk after the game, originally was called safe.
Wednesday just wasn't Cespedes' best day. He had a bead on Mike Trout's warning-track fly with one out in the eighth inning when the mixture near the center field wall gave way just enough to cause Cespedes to fall. Trout's fly ball fell in for a triple and he went on to score what would be the decisive run.
But the A's had a baker's dozen other ways to win. They left 13 men on base, seven of those in scoring position. Those are scenarios in which Oakland tends to shine, but on this day it didn't happen.
"We went into that last inning super-positive," said shortstop Adam Rosales, who had three hits, including an RBI single in the eighth inning. "We never give up. We always think there's a way to win. We try to be confident, and we are."
It's easier to be confident when you've got all your pieces, and right now the A's don't. Before the game, they put Crisp and opening day starting pitcher Brett Anderson on the disabled list.
Dan Straily will replace Anderson and Cespedes will take over in center, but the club doesn't really have another leadoff hitter. Jed Lowrie will get the call against left-handed pitching and John Jaso against right-handers.
And the A's don't know what to make of Young's injury. Melvin seems hopeful that Young will be good to go Friday against the Yankees in New York after a day off Thursday. Young, who tested his sore quad out before Wednesday's game, wasn't so sure.
"It was OK, but it's still not quite there," Young said. "We've got the off day and then we can test it again (in Yankee Stadium). Right now, I'd lean to no. I can jog, but I don't know if I'll be able to turn it up.''