Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Cespedes Makes a Slamming Return after Lengthy Absence

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Cespedes Makes a Slamming Return after Lengthy Absence

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- Whether Yoenis Cespedes can run at 100 percent isn't much of an issue when the hits grand slams like he did in his return Saturday.

The Mets activated their slugger for Saturday's doubleheader, and he hit a grand slam as part of a 2-for-5 day in the Mets' 6-1 win in the first game of the doubleheader. He had last played April 27 after suffering a left hamstring strain against the Braves.

Before the game, Cespedes admitted he still isn't fully recovered from the strain. He did not play in the 8-1 victory in the nightcap.

"I feel good, but I don't feel 100 percent," Cespedes said before the game through a translator. "I don't know that I can run 100 percent at this point yet."

Cespedes batted third and played left field after missing the team's previous three games, and he helped the Mets break the game open in the later innings.

His eighth-inning single helped the Mets take a 2-0 lead, and he hit a grand slam off Luke Jackson in the eighth to give the Mets a 6-1 advantage.

"It's not easy for a ball player to miss that much time and still have the timing down," Cespedes said through a translator between games. "In my case, I've been playing for lots of years so I tried to stay calm and look for good pitches."

Though Cespedes revealed prior to the game that he is not yet feeling 100 percent, he said after his big game that he feels he can still play. He said he would not be in the lineup if he felt he could injure himself, and said that his legs felt fine afterward.

He said he felt he could have hustled to beat out of a hit if needed.

"I'm not 100 percent," Cespedes said, "but I'm going out there and know my legs aren't going to fail me because if they do I'm going to feel it."

Mets manager Terry Collins said the decision to activate Cespedes was a group decision, and said the team is "going to take care of him. …

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