Cespedes 'very comfortable' in Red Sox debut

Cespedes 'very comfortable' in Red Sox debut
August 2, 2014, 9:30 pm
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BOSTON - The Red Sox debut of Yoenis Cespedes didn't include anything too dramatic. But he did manage a base hit in his first at-bat and he has his first game with the Sox under his belt.

Cespedes, batting cleanup and playing left field, led off the bottom of the second and received a nice ovation from the sold-out crowd at Fenway.

He then lined a hard single to left and came around to score on a two-run monster shot from Mike Napoli.

"I came in and I felt very comfortable,'' said Cespedes through a translator. "It was nice to see a lot of fans in the stands. I really liked it here. I felt very happy about the single -- it was nice to have my first at-bat as a Red Sox be a base hit.''

Cespedes had three more plate appearances, during which he grounded out in the third, flied to center in the fifth and popped to third in the seventh.

In the seventh, he faced hard-throwing Dellin Betances. Betances challenged him with a 100 mph fastball and the best it Cespedes could do was pop it up in the infield, stranding a runner in scoring position.

"I've only faced one pitcher like that, throwing above 100 mph, and that was (Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman),'' said Cespedes. "I faced Betances once in New York earlier in the year. He wasn't at that kind of velocity. He only throws two pitches and I was hunting the fastball, but I didn't get that one.''

Cespedes played left field in his Red Sox debut, even though the Sox will eventually shift him to right once he gets an opportunity to get some work there pre-game.

"To me,'' said Cespedes, "I felt comfortable out there just because it's a little easier, given that the (Wall isn't far from the plate) and knowing that anything over my head, I'm going to have to turn around and play it off the wall. So so far, I'm comfortable out there.''