PITTSBURGH — Yoenis Cespedes took his biggest step toward returning to the Mets’ lineup, going 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored on Friday in the beginning of a minor-league rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie. He also played six innings in leftfield.

“It was good to get back on the field today,” Cespedes said in a statement released by the team. “It’s been really hard being away from the team. I look forward to hopefully getting back to New York soon.”

Cespedes was placed on the disabled list on April 28 with a strained left hamstring after attempting to play through a similar injury earlier in the season. He was hitting .270 with six homers and 10 RBIs at the time of his injury.

The Mets have made an effort to be more secretive about sharing timelines about injured players, though the start of a rehab assignment signals that Cespedes could return in a matter of days. Manager Terry Collins said Cespedes will return “sometime soon.”

Rehab games

Pitchers Steven Matz and Seth Lugo will continue their minor-league rehab assignments on Sunday. Matz will start for Triple-A Las Vegas and Lugo will start for Double-A Binghamton. Both are recovering from elbow injuries.

Pill added

advertisement | advertise on newsday

In need of a fresh arm in the bullpen, the Mets promoted righthander Tyler Pill, 26, from Triple-A Las Vegas. He had been leading the Pacific Coast League with a 1.96 ERA.

Struggling righthander Rafael Montero was sent down. To make room for Pill on the 40-man roster, the Mets sent Lugo to the 60-day disabled list, an administrative move that will not impact his timeline for a return.

“It was a great experience, definitely one you can’t relive, definitely one that I didn’t expect either,” said Pill, who was the Mets’ fourth-round pick in 2011. “It was just overall a great experience. I still can’t really believe everything that’s going on right now.”