OAKLAND -- Things couldn't have been going better when the A's got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning in Thursday's game against Texas. But they received a most unwelcome sight when outfielder Yoenis Cespedes pulled up lame when running from second to third on Seth Smith's RBI single.
Cespedes strained his left hamstring, and he was forced to exit the game, limping off the field with the assistance of Athletics head trainer Nick Paparesta. He is listed as day to day.
A's manager Bob Melvin said after the game that when he saw the injury occur, he feared Cespedes would have to go back to the disabled list, and the skipper was happy to receive a more positive prognosis from the training staff.
The hope is that the outfielder can avoid the DL, and though Cespedes likely won't play on Friday at Arizona, he could pinch-hit at some point during the series with the D-backs. Melvin said that would be beneficial for the team and the player, just to keep Cespedes in a groove given his recent success at the plate.
"Whether or not he's able to pinch-hit [Saturday] or [Sunday], is kind of what we're hoping for," Melvin said. "Even if he can just pinch-hit in a National League scenario in a day or two, he ends up still being a piece for us. We're holding out hope that's the case."
Cespedes was on the disabled list from May 7 to June 1 with a strained muscle in his left hand. Since his return, he has helped spark the struggling A's offense, hitting .400 with three doubles, one triple and one home run over six games. Should Cespedes have to miss more time, it would be a big blow to Oakland's lineup.
The Cuban native also tweaked his left patella tendon in Monday's game against the Rangers, but was able to play on Tuesday and Wednesday. He declined to speak to the media after Thursday's game.
Ben Estes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.