OAKLAND -- Asked in Spanish how he felt after two days off with a strained left hamstring, Yoenis Cespedes answered in his native tongue.
"Mejor," he said. Better.
Good enough to be in Oakland's starting lineup as the A's designated hitter. And that's by design, as the regular left fielder does not have to worry about tracking down fly balls as the D.H.
"He's not 100 percent, but I hope he guards against (injury) running the bases," said A's manager Bob Melvin.
Also, center fielder Coco Crisp (right heel) and third baseman Josh Donaldson (right hamstring) were recuperating. Melvin said he was holding out hope Donaldson could play Saturday, but was not so sure about Crisp, who came off the bench Thursday to slap a pair of singles. Still, he was hobbling in the outfield.
Donaldson, meanwhile, has only missed one other game thus far this season and said the hamstring did not grab at him while taking batting practice swings.
"I feel better," he said. "I'm not a doctor, but I'm going to go do some running and see how it feels.
"I'm not feeling the knotting sensation I was last night."
Jesse Chavez did more than make a case to be an A's folk hero with his 5 2/3 innings of superb relief work Thursday; he also solidified his case to remain on Oakland's 25-man roster.
"Chavez was so good yesterday," said A's general manager Billy Beane. "It's important to let him know he's a big leaguer. He's been getting better every outing.
"What you saw is what we were hoping we'd get from him…he had a major league demeanor out there."
Chavez allowed only one hit and struck out seven Yankees and earned the victory.
"As a reliever, you have to have a short memory, for both negative and positive (results)," Chavez said.
Melvin said he would have used Chavez for another inning, had the game continued. And after Chavez, Tommy Milone would have been next, which means A.J. Griffin would have started Friday night's series opener against Seattle, rather than Milone. And that would have been fine with the A's, since, with Monday's off day, Griffin would have been going on regular rest.
Left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle, who pitched Tuesday and Wednesday, was unavailable.