JUPITER (CBSMiami/AP) — Comebacks are a big part of baseball but aren’t the easiest thing to practice. The Miami Marlins had a chance to do just that on Tuesday.
Allen Craig bolstered his bid for more playing time in Boston’s crowded outfield, hitting a three-run double in helping the Red Sox build a lead the Marlins would overcome with an eight-run eighth inning for a 9-4 victory Tuesday.
Playing in the spring training park he once called home with the St. Louis Cardinals, Craig’s double off Tom Koehler capped a four-run third inning for the Red Sox.
Locked in a six-player battle for one of the five roster spots the Red Sox intend to use for outfielders, Craig is hitting .278 with seven RBI in Grapefruit League play.
“Obviously everybody wants results and hits and RBIs and stuff, but I feel like my process is pretty good right now,” Craig said.
Craig came to Boston via a 2014 trade with St. Louis, which shares the Roger Dean Stadium complex with Miami.
Jordany Valdespin hit a two-run triple and Jeff Baker doubled in two in the Marlins’ big inning. Miami managed only one hit until the eighth.
“We’ve been scuffling a little bit the last couple days so it’s nice to see guys come in off the bench and have some great at-bats and put some runs on the board and have a nice comeback win,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
Marlins: Koehler allowed four runs in six innings, his longest outing of the spring. He’s the fourth consecutive Miami starter to allow at least four runs.
Red Sox: Boston originally planned to start Henry Owens on Tuesday with Brad Johnson following him, but manager John Farrell decided to give Johnson, who along with Owens is competing for a bullpen spot, the start instead. Johnson responded by allowing one run on one hit and three walks in 3 2-3 innings. “The way he’s throwing the ball, honestly he’s deserving the start,” Farrell said. Owens allowed five runs, four earned, in the eighth.
Marlins: Christian Yelich didn’t play again on Tuesday because of a blister on his hand, but did take batting practice. Redmond said Yelich is on the travel squad for Wednesday’s game at Lakeland.
Red Sox: Designated hitter David Ortiz (flu) went through a full workout, including batting practice, at the team’s facility in Fort Myers. Farrell expects Ortiz to get at-bats in Thursday’s game. … First baseman Mike Napoli (ankle) also worked out in Fort Myers. He, too, is expected to be in the lineup later this week. … Closer Koji Uehara (hamstring) is scheduled to throw off flat ground, then throw a bullpen session as the week progresses, but Farrell does not expect to use him in a game until after the weekend. “With each passing day that he’s not in the game there’s growing concern — concern in the sense, will he be ready for (opening day)?” Farrell said.
Farrell said he has a good idea which outfielders will make the Red Sox opening day roster but he’s not willing to make a proclamation, yet. The durability of Shane Victorino, who underwent offseason back surgery, is still a concern. Farrell said Victorino is not 100 percent healthy, yet, but when Victorino is healthy he’s the starting right fielder. Farrell also hopes to see more of newly signed Rusney Castillo in right field before announcing the decision.
Miami optioned pitcher Carter Capps to Triple-A New Orleans. The Marlins also reassigned catcher Vinny Rottino and pitchers Vin Mazzaro, Ryan Chaffee, Pat Misch and Pat Urckfitz to minor league camp.
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