Batting cleanup, Cespedes goes 1-for-4 in debut
BOSTON -- The Red Sox unveiled their new slugger in Saturday's contest against the Yankees at Fenway Park, and Yoenis Cespedes drilled a single to left in his first at-bat with his new team.
"Yeah, I felt very happy about that," said Cespedes. "It was nice to have my first at-bat as a Red Sox be a base hit."
There were no tape-measure home runs in the debut, as Cespedes went 1-for-4 in a 6-4 loss that came two days after he was acquired in a blockbuster trade for Jon Lester.
But there is plenty of excitement in Boston for Cespedes, and the crowd showed that by giving him a warm ovation in his first at-bat.
"Since I came in, I felt very comfortable," said Cespedes, who batted in the cleanup spot behind David Ortiz. "It was nice to see a lot of fans in the stands. I really like it here."
The most dramatic sequence of the game for Cespedes occurred in the seventh inning, when he represented the tying run against Yankees righty reliever Dellin Betances, who has a 100-mph fastball.
Betances won the duel this time, inducing Cesedes into a popup to third. But that's the type of power-against-power matchup that will have Red Sox fans on the edge of their seats when their new slugger comes to the plate.
"I was hunting the fastball," Cespedes said. "Just didn't get that one."
Though Cespedes played left in his first game for the Red Sox, he is expected to play right field for the most part, with Shane Victorino possibly out for the rest of the season.
Cespedes hasn't played right field in his Major League career, so the Red Sox at least want to get him some early work out there before playing him out there in a game.
"I haven't really played much right field," said Cespedes. "But, in my opinion, good outfielders should be able to pride themselves on being able to play all three positions -- and that's what I'm going to do."
At the same time Cespedes introduced himself to the Fenway faithful, Lester made his first start for the Athletics in Oakland against the Royals and got the win.
Watching Cespedes, a two-time Home Run Derby champion, take aim at the Monster could be highly entertaining.
"It's as much raw power as you're going to find in the game," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We've seen it in-game rather than being in an exhibition derby type of thing. We're looking forward to seeing him on the field. His middle-of-the-order presence is what we've needed to lengthen out our lineup, and he provides that."