Cespedes back in Red Sox lineup after hurting hand

Cespedes back in Red Sox lineup after hurting hand
August 14, 2014, 5:30 pm
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BOSTON - There doesn't appear to be anything seriously wrong with Yoenis Cespedes' right hand.

Cespedes, who left Wednesday's game against the Reds in the seventh inning because of a right hand contusion, is in Thursday's lineup against the Astros, batting cleanup.

"And honestly he could have continued on [Wednesday]," John Farrell said of Cespedes before Thursday's game. "But [as a] precautionary [matter, we] just got him out of there and we don't anticipate any issues as he goes through BP today."

Cespedes looked fine during batting practice, even hitting one ball over the Monster while crushing a few out to center field.

According to NESN, Cespedes will wear padding that cushions the palm of his right hand when he bats as to not aggravate the injury.

Cespedes has only played in 10 games for the Sox since being traded over at the trade deadline in a deal that sent Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to the A's, but he's already shown why he came to Boston as one of the more feared hitters in the game.

Take Sunday's and Tuesday's games for examples, when Cespedes hit his first two home runs as a member of the Sox.

Trailing 1-0 against the Angels on Sunday, Cespedes' three-run shot put them ahead in the eighth inning of an eventual 3-1 win. And on Tuesday, he hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning that gave Boston the lead in an eventual 3-2 win.

According to Elias, Cespedes becomes the first Red Sox since Reid Nichols to Aug. 23-24, 1992 at Seattle to hit a game-winning homer in the eighth inning or later in two straight games.

"He's got some home runs in timely moments," Farrell said. "There's a lot of bat speed. Obviously there's strength, we see that. There's an example of some fearlessness after [Reds reliever Jonathan] Brockton tries to knock him down and he comes back and takes him deep in the next pitch. I think he thrives in the moment, in big moments in the game. He doesn't fear those situations, I think he embraces them. And that's played out with the timeliness of a couple of home runs."

For Cespedes, the home runs were the first ones of his career that turned a deficit into a lead in the 8th inning or later.

With Cespedes batting fourth, here's how the rest of the Sox lineup looks:

Xander Bogaerts gets a night off, which puts Brock Holt at shortstop. Jackie Bradley will play center field and Will Middlebrooks gets the nod at third base.

Brock Holt, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, RF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Christian Vazquez, C

Allen Webster, SP