Yoenis Cespedes leaves Mets game after painful slide

SAN DIEGO — Yoenis Cespedes turned into Rickey Henderson on the bases Sunday, complete with the headfirst dive into third on a stolen base.

But that aggressiveness — Cespedes’ second stolen base of the inning — might not have been for the best. Cespedes jammed his left thumb on the slide and departed in the third inning of the Mets’ 14-2 victory over the Padres.

Cespedes underwent X-rays on the thumb that were negative, but is expected to receive further evaluation on Monday in New York.

“It’s not the first time this thing happened to me,” Cespedes said. “When I was playing with Oakland it happened a couple of times and I would say I would take off three days.”

Cespedes said he was supposed to slide toward the base with the bottom of his hand, but somehow hit it with his thumb, which pushed backward. He was examined on the field, remained in the game to score, and was replaced in left field by Brandon Nimmo in the next half-inning.

The injury occurred just as Cespedes had found his stroke: With his 2-for-2 performance Sunday he extended his hitting streak to six games, a stretch in which he is 8-for-21 (.381) after enduring a slump for most of the first month of the season.

“There have been a couple of players that started slow, including myself, but that is why we are a team,” Cespedes said. “A couple players are playing well and there are some others who are playing pretty good and helped us have the record we have so far.”

Last season, Cespedes played only 81 games because of leg injuries. He spent much of the offseason running to build up strength in his legs.

“Basically my concerns have been my legs during last season, but right now this is not a big thing,” Cespedes said. “Hopefully I take three days off and be back soon.”

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