Capuano, Hairston encouraged after win

Capuano, Hairston encouraged after win

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Capuano and Jerry Hairston had the best performances by non-Cubans in Tuesday's 7-1 win over the A's.

While Yasiel Puig was outslugging fellow Cuban left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, Capuano had his best start of the spring, and Hairston his best day at the plate.

Capuano was charged with one run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. Hairston, who went into the game with a .174 batting average, homered and doubled.

"The best I felt this spring," said Capuano, who is trying to wrestle his way back into the rotation. "I had pretty good rhythm. I went back to the keys that have worked for me in the past. I didn't try to be too quick to the plate. I had better fastball command to both sides of the plate."

Capuano, who brought a 10.61 ERA into the start, has been feeling the pressure of competing for a job "a little bit."

"You definitely want to do well, to make an impression, but we players realize that ultimately, we make the decision," he said. "Management isn't arbitrary. It's no different than the pressure we face throughout a season in a big game or getting to the playoffs."

Meanwhile, Hairston wasn't concerned with his low average, saying that he's been working on mechanics after recovering from surgery on his left hip.

"I knew coming in this would be a long Spring Training," said Hairston. "I wanted to see a lot of pitches and get my feet underneath me, and coming off hip surgery, just wanted to make sure I'm healthy and ready for the long season. I feel good, and I'm ready."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.