Yelich's knee holds up well in return

Marlins left fielder makes several running plays

Yelich's knee holds up well in return

MIAMI -- If there were any questions about how Christian Yelich's right knee would respond Tuesday night, the Miami left fielder answered them with flying colors in a 5-2 win over the Pirates at Marlins Park.

The 23-year-old, back in the lineup after nursing a bruised right knee, had two hits, including a double, he made several nice running plays in the outfield and tested his knee on the bases.

"I felt good," Yelich said. "I really basically did everything you can possibly do in a baseball game. That's encouraging. You don't know how it's going to respond until you go out and test it. This is really the farthest I've pushed it. I've pushed it before. That was encouraging."

Yelich bruised his knee banging into the outfield wall at Atlanta on Aug. 9. He was placed on the disabled list on Aug. 15, retroactive to Aug. 10.

Miami reinstated the left-handed-hitting outfielder Tuesday, and also placed right-hander Kendry Flores on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis.

Yelich handled two line drives in the second inning. He also had a single off Charlie Morton in the fifth, and he scored from first on J.T. Realmuto's single to center.

Yelich helped create the run because he was in full stride going from first to third on Realmuto's hit. Center fielder Andrew McCutchen, charging to make a throw, misplayed the ball, enabling Yelich to score on the error.

"That's one of our leaders, and he didn't miss a beat," said Dee Gordon, who had two hits and matched his career high with four stolen bases. "To have him is definitely a bright spot in our lineup."

In the sixth, the Marlins added insurance, scoring three runs, all on RBI doubles.

Yelich capped the scoring in the inning, doubling home a run off reliever Jared Hughes.

"The guys put together some good at-bats," Yelich said. "Morton is tough and so is Hughes and all those other guys they rolled out there. For us to put some good at-bats together and string a couple together was big."

As Yelich gets back into a steady playing routine, the Marlins will likely have to monitor his playing time. He went from not seeing game action since Aug. 9 to playing nine innings of a 2-hour, 48-minute game, so he might need occasional days off.

"That's probably the most I've tested it the last two weeks," Yelich said. "It's good to come back and get a win."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.