Mired in a season-worst losing streak, the Oakland Athletics hope to receive a lift from the return of Yoenis Cespedes. It doesn't appear that Manny Ramirez will be joining him, however.
The Athletics will try to avoid a ninth straight loss Friday night when they open a three-game road series against the Kansas City Royals.
Oakland was shut out for the third time during its skid after losing 4-0 to Minnesota on Wednesday. The Athletics (22-29) had three hits, with their No. 3-7 hitters 0 for 16 with six strikeouts.
"When you get in a little streak like this, guys kind of want to look over their shoulder rather than taking the bull by the horns or grabbing the steering wheel," Johnny Gomes, who is in a 2-for-21 slump, said. "Success and failure is contagious."
The losing streak is Oakland's longest since dropping 10 in a row May 30-June 9, 2011, and coincides with the loss of Cespedes to a strained muscle in his left hand.
The Athletics were 15-13 with Cespedes in the lineup but...