The Yankees began a seven game west coast swing on Thursday night against the Oakland Athletics. They got off to a bad start, falling 4-3.

Oakland jumped out in front in the bottom of the first inning with a Yoenis Cespedes two run home run off of Yankees starter Freddy Garcia. They extended that lead in the bottom of the third on a two RBI single by Seth Smith to make it 4-0.

Athletics starter AJ Griffin was unhittable through his first five innings, but the Yankees loaded the bases on singles by Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Robinson Cano with one out in the top of the sixth. Mark Teixeira knocked in Jeter with a sacrifice. Nick Swisher followed him with an RBI single to bisect the deficit to 4-2.

New York made it interesting in the ninth with Nick Swisher clubbing a solo home run to right center field to make it a one run game against Oakland closer Ryan Cook, who came in with an ERA of 1.55. They were unable to muster anything further, losing for just the second time since the All-Star break. The two teams play tomorrow night at 10:05 on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.

Player of the Game: Yoenis Cespedes (2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB)

Cespedes’ early two run shot proved to be the difference in the game and his ability to get on base proved to be a nightmare for Yankee pitching all night. He is being touted as a guy with a high ceiling, and Yankees fans saw why on Thursday night.

“Good Job, Good Effort” Player of the Game: Curtis Granderson (0-4, 2 K)

I won’t pile on Freddy Garcia here because, let’s face it, even allowing just four runs is exceeding expectations for him. But Granderson, batting in the two hole, absolutely hindered the Yankees offense all night. Good job, good effort, Curtis Granderson.