OAKLAND -- Yoenis Cespedes is back in the A's lineup. He returns to his customary spot in the order -- batting clean up -- but he is in unfamiliar territory as the designated hitter. The Cuban-born slugger has never started a game as the DH.Cespedes, 26, has missed nine games with a strained left hamstring, avoiding a trip to the disabled list. His last start came last Wednesday in Colorado, but he left the game after just one at-bat, when he re-aggravated the injury trying to leg out an infield single. He also missed 22 games with a left hand injury. Cespedes is a key component to the A's lineup. When he plays the A's are 20-16. Without him they are 12-20. He is batting .273 with six home runs and 26 RBIs. The right-handed power-hitter has a knack for hitting home runs at the most opportune times. Five of his six homers have come with runners on base, and three of them were hit in the seventh inning or later. Rest doesn't seem to effect Cespedes adversely. He hit .385 (10 for 26) with three doubles, one triple, one home run and five RBIs in the eight starts that followed his trip to the DL after his hand injury. During that span, he collected a hit in six-straight plate appearances, snapping the streak on the play that re-aggravated his hamstring injury. Look for the A's to try and get Cespedes back into the outfield soon. Using him as the DH has its positives, but it also has some negatives. In the outfield he can keep his recently recovered hamstring loose by running. As DH, he will have to be careful not to let his leg muscles cool down before sprinting out on the basepaths.
The A's powered past the Mets Sunday in New York with three solo home runs to leave the Big Apple without getting swept in a 3-2 win.
Marcus Semien, Khris Davis and Matt Chapman all went deep.
Rookie Daniel Gossett allowed just two earned runs over six innings pitched.
The A's are now 44-54 on the season.
NEW YORK -- Wilmer Flores hit a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the New York Mets rallied from an early five-run deficit to beat the Oakland Athletics 6-5 Saturday night for their fourth consecutive victory.
Pinch-hitter Lucas Duda delivered a tying single with two outs in the eighth off left-hander Daniel Coulombe. Jay Bruce hit a two-run homer in the sixth to begin New York's comeback, and Jose Reyes tripled twice.
Flores connected on a 96 mph fastball from Simon Castro (0-1), sending a line drive to left field for the second game-ending homer of his career. That sent a frenzied crowd of 39,629 home happy - hours after fans lined up early in the heat outside Citi Field to get their Noah Syndergaard as Thor bobbleheads.
Sean Manaea took a shutout into the sixth but then wilted after throwing a career-high 115 pitches Sunday in his previous start, a win against Cleveland.
Hansel Robles (6-1) tossed a hitless inning to win for the second straight day.
MAN ON THE MOVE:
With Mets second baseman Neil Walker nearing a return from the disabled list, perhaps Monday in San Diego, Asdrubal Cabrera made his first major league start at third and played flawless defense after working out at the position once. Cabrera's only previous appearance at the hot corner came during his rookie season in 2007 with Cleveland. "He's a middle infielder who's going to play third base. Got great hands, great arm. He'll be fine," manager Terry Collins said. Cabrera initially balked at shifting from shortstop to second when he came off the DL about a month ago.
Athletics: Ryon Healy had a pinch-hit single after getting hit near the left temple by a bad-hop grounder Friday night. Healy went through the concussion protocol and was cleared, manager Bob Melvin said. ... Melvin said he would have news after the game regarding RHP Jharel Cotton, on the DL since July 4 with a blister on his right thumb. Cotton threw a bullpen Friday. Oakland needs a starter for Monday night at Toronto. ... INF-OF Chad Pinder (strained left hamstring) homered Friday on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville and could come off the DL when Oakland begins a homestand next weekend. "That's kind of the target area," Melvin said.
Mets: Walker (left hamstring) went 1 for 3 with Triple-A Las Vegas at Memphis in the first game of rehab assignment. The switch-hitter has been on the DL since June 15. ... LHP Josh Smoker threw a scoreless sixth in his first outing since coming off the disabled list Thursday. Smoker had been sidelined since June 14 with a strained left shoulder.
Oakland rookie right-hander Daniel Gossett (1-5, 5.79 ERA) makes his eighth career start in Sunday's series finale against RHP Rafael Montero (1-6, 5.40). Gossett has given up 10 homers in 37 1/3 innings after yielding only four in 60 2/3 innings at Triple-A.