Johnson scratched for second straight game with back spasms

Johnson scratched for second straight game with back spasms

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Marlins scratched Chris Johnson from Saturday's game against the Red Sox because of back spasms, marking the second straight day that has happened.

Manager Don Mattingly originally penciled Johnson in to play left field and bat in the fifth spot. He was replaced by Xavier Scruggs, who hit a three-run homer in the third inning that helped the club to an 11-8 win.

"I was really happy for the opportunity and tried to make the best of it," Scruggs said. "I really just wanted to drive something and got my pitch on that hanging curveball."

Scruggs' three-run blast

Johnson spent over 30 minutes in the training room before the game hoping to feel good enough to be in the lineup.

"He was better today, but still not quite where we want it to be," Mattingly said. "We still feel like he'll get enough at-bats to be comfortable."

Johnson, who was signed in the offseason with the intention of backing up first baseman Justin Bour, has played the infield and outfield this spring. He is 3-for-13 (.231) with an RBI in five games.

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.