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Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes stretches, left, with Oakland Athletics strength and condition coach Mike Henry , right, during his first workout with the A's at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, in Phoenix, Ariz., on Sunday, March 4, 2012. Cespedes played in eight seasons for Granma in Cuba's Serie Nacional before defecting following the 2010-11 season. (Anda Chu/Staff)

PHOENIX -- For the second straight day, much-touted Cuban signee Yoenis Cespedes upstaged the A's players participating in the scheduled spring training game by tearing it up in another simulated game.

Cespedes, who might play in his first Cactus League game this weekend, took six at-bats against minor league pitchers Thursday and had three more hits, including his second home run in as many days at the club's Papago Park minor league complex.

Facing A's minor league pitchers Blake Hassebrock and Shawn Haviland, Cespedes hit the ball solidly every time up. His home run, against Haviland, was a low line shot down the left-field line and over the wall. He also singled hard to center and had a sharp grounder back of third base for an infield hit.

In two simulated games, Cespedes is 7 for 12 with two homers.

Manager Bob Melvin, who watched part of the simulated session but missed the home run, said it's likely Cespedes could play in a game Saturday or Sunday but didn't want to get locked into it.

"We want to make sure he makes progress (Friday) and feels comfortable in the outfield and feels comfortable running the bases," the manager said. "But I think there's a good chance this weekend he's in there."

A's general manager Billy Beane, who attended Oakland's game against the Dodgers in Glendale, Ariz., on Thursday, has purposely avoided seeing Cespedes' hitting sessions.

"No, no, I didn't want to jinx him," Beane said. "I know he tore it up yesterday. So I may never see him play if he keeps hitting."

Despite the early caution with Cespedes, Beane said the team will be aggressive in advancing their prospective starting center fielder.

"Obviously with the type of contract we signed him to (four years, $36 million), the sooner the better, so we're certainly not going to hold him back," Beane said. "But we're also going to be aware of the adjustments he's making -- not just professionally, but personally as well."

  • It was a rocky day for A's starter Jarrod Parker against the Dodgers' predominately starting lineup. Parker, a candidate for one of the club's three rotation vacancies, gave up three hits, walked three and also hit a batter but only surrendered two earned runs in a 7-2 defeat to Los Angeles. He threw only 20 strikes in 41 pitches.

    Parker bailed himself out of jams in both of his innings. In the first, he escaped when he got Juan Uribe to hit into a double play. Then after putting the first two men on in the second, he recorded three straight outs, including a called strikeout of Matt Kemp to finish his outing.

    "It's a good way to simulate a jam and whatnot, but obviously, I put myself in it -- I don't want to walk guys like that," Parker said. "It was a good thing to battle through it and take some positives out of it."

  • The A's may have a fresh left-handed relief candidate in Jordan Norberto, who had a brief but rough stint with Oakland last year after coming over in the Brad Ziegler trade with Arizona. Norberto struck out the side in the third inning -- Andre Ethier, Juan Rivera and James Loney.

    "I feel like I have a good opportunity," Norberto said. "I worked hard in the offseason to try and win a spot."

    Norberto was 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in the 2011 Dominican Winter League, appearing in 16 games, including six starts. He also was picked to start the first playoff game with his team, Escogido, and pitched 62/3 innings with six strikeouts.

    "He's definitely a candidate," Melvin said. "The stuff is there. If he can throw the ball over the plate, he's got the tools to be a situational lefty or long lefty."

  • After being scratched from the lineup Wednesday with back stiffness, Manny Ramirez was much improved Thursday and participated in the simulated game at Papago. Melvin said Ramirez should play Saturday.

    Daric Barton, trying to come back from shoulder surgery, also took a few at-bats in the simulated game.

  • The A's announced their first two regular-season games in Japan will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on the MLB Network March 28-29. Each game will be shown twice, at 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. The games will be broadcast live at 3:10 a.m. on 95.7-FM The Game.

  • Oakland announced it will bring back Spanish radio broadcasts this year, at least for 69 weeknight and weekend home games. The games will be aired on KIQI (1010 AM), KATD (990 AM) and KWRU (1300 AM).

    Mercury News Columnist Tim Kawakami contributed to this report.