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Injured Cespedes starts Texas series on bench

OAKLAND -- Slugging A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was on the bench to start Monday's series opener against the Rangers, a day after exiting early due to a bruised right heel. Left-handed hitting Brandon Moss made the start against Texas righty Yu Darvish in Cespedes' place, batting fifth.

Cespedes first showed signs of heel discomfort in the A's clubhouse following an April 6 contest against the Mariners, but still played in every inning of the season until leaving Sunday's contest.

"He's gone back and forth with it," manager Bob Melvin said. "Some days it bothers him and some days it doesn't. It hasn't for several days and then it popped up it again, so I think it's best served if we give him a day."

Cespedes has shown signs of wear and tear since beginning his MLB career in 2012, making two trips to the 15-day disabled list and missing 60 games in that span. Melvin said Cespedes' injury affects him especially when he's running, but that the outfielder would be a potential late-game substitution on Monday.

It's just the latest issue for what's been a banged up outfield for Melvin. Craig Gentry (back) started the season on the 15-day disabled list and has been getting more playing time lately now that starting center fielder Coco Crisp has been limited by left wrist issues.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to
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