The rookie slugger from Cuba went 10-for-25 after his return from a strained left hand, before injuring his left hamstring last Thursday against Texas. Cespedes hasn't played in Oakland's last four games, but was available to pinch hit on Tuesday for the first time since hurting his leg. A's manager Bob Melvin said Cespedes would return to the team's lineup on Wednesday.
"He ran a lot better [Tuesday]," Melvin said. "He's definitely could see a start here very soon. We're probably a little more careful with a guy as aggressive as he is. He does pretty much everything max effort."
Given that the A's are 19-16 with the outfielder in the lineup and 8-19 when he isn't, the return of Cespedes could spell success in Wednesday's game, which endangers a struggling Rockies team even more.
Colorado has lost six straight games, remaining winless in Interleague Play this season with Tuesday's loss to Oakland. The Rockies' pitching, a season-long problem, faltered again in the series opener, and the team has now allowed 52 runs during its losing streak.
To try and halt its slide, Colorado will turn to former A's pitcher Josh Outman. The left-hander will make his third start this season since moving over from the bullpen and will likely be stretched out to about 90 pitches. Outman has allowed five earned runs in 6 1/3 innings in his first two starts.
"We want to get much more out of him," manager Jim Tracy said after Outman's last outing, on June 7. "We want to get much better. We're trying to build him up where you don't have to brace for the start. I think the next time out he'll be able to go upward of 90 pitches. But we're looking for 90 quality pitches."
A's: Milone moves up
After Wednesday's scheduled starter Brandon McCarthy was scratched with shoulder soreness and sent back to Oakland for an MRI, left-hander Tommy Milone was moved up a slot and will start in McCarthy's place. Thanks to Monday's off day, Milone will be making his start on normal rest. He allowed four earned runs in five innings against Arizona in his last outing.
Right-hander Jarrod Parker was also moved up and will now start in Thursday's series finale.
Outfielder Seth Smith went 2-for-4 with two doubles against his former team on Tuesday night, continuing his recent stretch of hot hitting. Smith, who was acquired for Outman and pitcher Guillermo Moscoso in a trade in January, has gotten hits in 13 of his last 24 at-bats.
Rockies: Rogers traded to Indians
Despite his apparent talent, the results never materialized in Colorado for reliever Esmil Rogers. On Tuesday, the Rockies finally cut bait, sending him to Cleveland in exchange for cash considerations. The right-hander, who was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for pitcher Jeff Francis, had an 8.06 ERA in 23 appearances this season.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, out since May 30 with a left groin strain, was scheduled to begin a rehab stint with Triple-A Colorado Springs on Wednesday.
Tulowtizki is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Friday, but it is unclear if he will be activated then.
A's first baseman Brandon Moss's third-inning home run on Tuesday was the first hit into the third deck of Coors Field this season. It was the 32nd third-deck shot all-time at Coors.