Oakland Athletics’ Yoenis Cespedes (52) can’t keep the ball on a double by  Seattle Mariners’ Henry Blanco (33) in the eighth inning of
Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes (52) can't keep the ball on a double by Seattle Mariners' Henry Blanco (33) in the eighth inning of their MLB game at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) ( RAY CHAVEZ )

BALTIMORE -- Yoenis Cespedes took the word that he was getting a day off Sunday in stride, A's manager Bob Melvin said.

The manager said his left fielder knows what's going on.

And what's going on right now is a hitless streak of nine at-bats and a six-game batting average of .154. Add to that some faux pas in the outfield and Melvin figured it would be a good day for a day off.

Cespedes is willing to accept that.

"It can be," he told the Bay Area News Group through interpreter Ariel Prieto Sunday morning. "It depends on what happens."

What has happening is that the A's came into Sunday 2 ½ games behind Texas in the American League West in part because of limited input from their left fielder. Cespedes has 10 strikeouts and just four hits in his last six starts and he hasn't driven in a run in that span.

Oakland Athletics’ Yoenis Cespedes (52) celebrates a two-run homer with third base coach Mike Gallego (2) in the first inning of their game against
Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes (52) celebrates a two-run homer with third base coach Mike Gallego (2) in the first inning of their game against the Texas Rangers at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) ( ANDA CHU )

"I'm still feeling good (at the plate)," Cespedes said when asked if he had any explanation for his recent troubles.

Melvin said it was "a little bit of tough times" for his left fielder who had a .292 average with 23 homers and 82 RBIs last year but who checks in with six weeks left in the season at .227, 20 homers and 58 RBIs.

"Sometimes a day off is good mentally as well as physically," Melvin said. "He's been a little aggressive sometimes, and he's been swinging out of the (strike) zone."

Cespedes is expected to be in the lineup Monday in Detroit as the A's start a four-game series with the Tigers. He has only two at-bats against Detroit this year, but hit .400 in the regular season against the Tigers a year ago and .316 with a couple of RBIs in the 2012 playoffs against Detroit.

  • A's Sunday starter Sonny Gray is facing the Orioles for the first time, but that doesn't mean he doesn't know any of his opponents.

    On a recruiting trip to Vanderbilt out of high school, Gray was hosted by, among others, current Baltimore second baseman Ryan Flaherty.

    The two have remained good friends and work out in the offseason in the Nashville area.

    Gray ultimately did go to Vanderbilt where he finished second on the school's all-time wins list with 27 and led the Commodores to their first-ever appearance in the College World Series.

    Oakland Athletics’ Yoenis Cespedes (52) connects with the ball but grounds out against the Cleveland Indians in the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum
    Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes (52) connects with the ball but grounds out against the Cleveland Indians in the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group) ( SUSAN TRIPP POLLARD )

  • For the second straight day while facing right-handed starting pitching from the Orioles, right-handed hitting catcher Kurt Suzuki was behind the plate for the A's while left-handed hitter Stephen Vogt got the day off.

    Melvin said that is not necessarily a sign of times to come.

    "This doesn't mean that we're going in a different direction," Melvin said, adding that Vogt would be in the lineup Monday in Detroit. "Especially in situations that call for a left-handed hitter."

    The manager said the move wasn't injury related. Vogt, who did start Friday, hit his head on the dirt in the aftermath of a collision Wednesday in Oakland.

    "I hit it pretty hard," Vogt said. "And I'm a little sore, but it's nothing major. I'm ready."

    For more on the A's, see John Hickey's Insider at blogs.ibabuzz.com/athletics. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JHickey3.