Betts makes smooth return from DL

Betts makes smooth return from DL

MIAMI -- It didn't take Mookie Betts long to reintroduce himself to the Red Sox. On the two-week anniversary of the night he suffered a concussion, Betts returned and banged the fifth pitch of the game into center for a hit.

In fact, Betts drilled hits in his first three at-bats, including a double in the fifth. He also stole a base. But, the Red Sox suffered a 5-4 loss to the Marlins in 10 innings.

The one-game Minor League rehab assignment Betts had on Sunday, when he drilled a homer for Triple-A Pawtucket, helped him with his timing.

"Pretty comfortable," Betts said. "I got to play a game and get some at-bats. I was looking forward to going in and playing."

Though the season hasn't gone the way the Red Sox would have liked, the progress of Betts has been a clear bright spot.

"We're excited about Mookie," said bench coach Torey Lovullo. "We know that he's an exciting player. He adds an element of power and speed to this lineup. We're excited to have him back. We know it's his first game and we were careful with overloading him but he wanted to keep going."

In 98 games, Betts is hitting .270 with 26 doubles, six triples, 10 homers and 50 RBIs.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.