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Cespedes exits early in return to left field

Cespedes exits early in return to left field

Cespedes exits early in return to left field

SEATTLE -- As expected, Yoenis Cespedes returned to the outfield on Friday for the first time in two weeks. Unexpected was his early exit from the game because of recurring right shoulder soreness.

Cespedes aggravated his shoulder while swinging, and there's "probably a good chance he won't be in there tomorrow," manager Bob Melvin said after the game.

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"Whether or not he's able to play in these last two games," Melvin continued, "I'm not sure yet, but with some time before the postseason hopefully we can get him healthy."

While nursing his shoulder, after a diagnosis of tendinitis, Cespedes made nine consecutive starts at designated hitter, before finding his way back to left field for the opener of the three-game series in Seattle. He lasted just 3 1/2 innings and was replaced by Seth Smith to start the top of the fourth.

Just hours earlier, Melvin had relayed just how happy he was to get Cespedes back on defense -- and for more than one reason.

"It's nice to get him back out there. He's a pain in the [rear] on the bench," he had said, smiling. "He's a guy that really wants to play the outfield. He knows he was relegated to DH duties for a reason, but his true game comes when he's playing the outfield, so he's pretty excited about being back out there today."

Cespedes is batting .226 in 27 games as DH, compared to .254 through 92 games as a left fielder this season.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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