Cespedes hits third vs. Royals on Tuesday

Cespedes hits third vs. Royals on Tuesday

OAKLAND -- At this rate, Yoenis Cespedes will be batting in the leadoff spot by Thursday.

A's manager Bob Melvin, who placed the outfielder in the seven-hole for his Major League debut on March 28, has since slotted him into the sixth, fifth and fourth spots, respectively. Melvin hit him third against the Royals on Tuesday.

"Before long, he'll be back down to nine, working his way back up," Melvin joked. "But I've said all along, he's a 3-4-5 hitter, and we'll rotate him around a bit. Today, he's hitting third."

Elsewhere in the lineup, Collin Cowgill and Anthony Recker drew their first starts of the season, with Cowgill giving Josh Reddick a day off in right field and Recker spotting catcher Kurt Suzuki behind the plate. The timing seemed just right for them, said Melvin, with the Royals expected to pitch a lefty and Tuesday coming before a day game.

"It's the way I had it planned," Melvin said. "We need to get everyone involved, and those are the two guys that haven't really been as involved, as much, since the regular season started."

Cowgill, who hit a team-leading .396 in 20 spring games, pinch-ran in the team's opener, but had not played since. Recker was the last player on the A's Opening Day roster to see playing time. Melvin said it's likely Cowgill will get a second start on Wednesday, while left fielder Coco Crisp rests.