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Yoenis Cespedes leaves game with sore left thumb

Mets' Yoenis Cespedes, center, gets his injury checked

Mets' Yoenis Cespedes, center, gets his injury checked on by manager Mickey Callaway, left, third base coach Glenn Sherlock, right, and a member of staff after stealing third base during the third inning against the San Diego Padres in San Diego, Sunday, April 29, 2018. Credit: AP / Kyusung Gong

SAN DIEGO — A sore left thumb forced Yoenis Cespedes out of Sunday’s game against the Padres in the third inning, but he predicted he will miss only three days.

X-rays were negative. Cespedes said he will have an MRI on Monday in New York. “This is not a big thing,” he said through an interpreter.

The three-day timeline is based on what Cespedes described as similar issues while he played for Oakland. “It’s not the first time this thing happened to me,” he said.

Cespedes said his thumb got caught on the bag when he slid into third on a steal in the top of the third. He was briefly tended to by an athletic trainer but stayed in the game and scored. Brandon Nimmo replaced him in leftfield to begin the bottom of the third.

“It’s just sore, so we decided to get him out,” manager Mickey Callaway said.

Cespedes went 2-for-2 with a double, two runs and two steals, the latest sign that he is emerging from a weeks-long slump. He has at least one hit in six straight games and has gone 8-for-21, including two homers and two doubles, raising his average from .195 to .233 and his OPS from .612 to .729.

Twice since late March, the Mets lost players to injury after X-rays were negative. Lefthander Jason Vargas (fractured right hand) and catcher Kevin Plawecki (fractured left hand) each passed that initial test before an MRI revealed the injury.

Extra bases

The Mets didn’t quite reach the necessary level of desperation in their 12-2 loss to the Padres on Saturday night, but Callaway said first baseman Adrian Gonzalez would be his go-to option if he needed a position player to pitch. “Gonzalez has some pretty nasty stuff,” Callaway said. “Good breaking ball, good knuckleball. Like, seriously. He does. He’d be the guy.” . . . Righthander Paul Sewald tossed two scoreless innings of relief Sunday, lowering his ERA to 1.98. Sewald, who has 17 strikeouts in 14 2⁄3 innings, picked up his first hold of the season.

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