But Cespedes was back in his usual spot for the club's three-game series opener at Fenway Park, where he's a career .231 hitter over just three games.
"That's why we kind of took it easy the first couple of days," said manager Bob Melvin. "You never know until he actually gets out there, but we feel like he's ready to go."
With Cespedes back in the outfield, Brandon Moss returned to first base, while Daric Barton -- 4-for-9 in his career vs. starter Clay Buchholz, but hitting just .146 on the season -- sat on the bench.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.