The A's were ready to welcome Yoenis Cespedes back to the lineup Saturday.

Instead, they placed their cleanup hitter on the 15-day disabled list after Cespedes aggravated his injured left hand during batting practice.

Cespedes had missed the previous four games while nursing a strained muscle in his hand, but manager Bob Melvin penciled his center fielder into the lineup against the Detroit Tigers.

Cespedes took only two rounds of batting practice before talking with hitting coach Chili Davis and heading back to the clubhouse.

"The first round was OK," Cespedes said through interpreter Ariel Prieto. "The second round I felt something again."

He was scratched from the lineup, and shortly after, the A's announced he was going on the D.L., retroactive to Monday. Cespedes, who is batting .245 with five home runs and a team-high 21 RBIs, is eligible to be activated May 22.

"It's a hand, and anytime it's a hand for a hitter, you want to make sure he's 100 percent before he gets out there," A's assistant general manager David Forst said. "We tried to treat it and have him play at the same time, and clearly he wasn't feeling 100 percent."

Infielder Josh Donaldson was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to take Cespedes' roster spot.

Cespedes' injury wasn't the only bad news for the A's. First baseman Kila Ka'aihue was scratched Saturday with a "lower-hamstring, upper-calf" injury, as described by a team spokesman.


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Then second baseman Jemile Weeks left the game in the fourth inning with a sprained left ankle suffered when he stumbled coming out of the batter's box after a second-inning single.

Forst said Donaldson gives the team another option at first base, which is important with Ka'aihue ailing. Ka'aihue hurt his right leg running the bases Friday, but the D.L. is not being considered at this time. Cespedes originally hurt his hand during the series in Boston on the A's last trip, but the injury wasn't enough to knock him from the lineup until Tuesday.

Addressing reporters before batting practice Saturday, Cespedes twice was asked if his hand was at full strength, and he confirmed it was.

"I feel so happy, because I was here doing nothing. It was boring," Cespedes said.

Collin Cowgill took his place in center field, and Daric Barton was inserted at first base.

Forst said X-rays and an MRI exam on Cespedes' hand show nothing more serious than a strained muscle. But he wasn't sure if Cespedes will be ready to return when he becomes eligible.

"I'm hopeful," Forst said. "But again, this is a guy who swings pretty powerfully, and he needs to have that muscle working."