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Hanley Ramirez back; Bonifacio out with injury

            Hanley Ramirez, who missed the Marlins’ last four games after experiencing discomfort in his left elbow, returned to the lineup on Tuesday and was batting third against the Mets.

            Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, the All-Star shortstop took a few swings in the batting cage alongside a few coaches, who noticed improvement in his extension and convinced Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez to him the starting nod.

            Rodriguez – who wasn’t present – ultimately complied, but said he would monitor Ramirez’s performance closely because he believes the shortstop’s elbow isn’t completely healthy.

“I don’t think its 100 percent,” Rodriguez said of Ramirez’s injury. “But he says it feels better, so we’re going to give him a try.”

 ----Although the Marlins added one offensive sparkplug back in the lineup, the club lost another one in Emilio Bonifacio.

            Bonifacio, Ramirez’s recent replacement for three games over the weekend, missed his second consecutive game on Tuesday after experiencing some tightness in his left hamstring.

            “I feel a little bit better today, but I still feel some pain when I walk,” Bonifacio said. “We’re going to be careful because it’s the first time in my career that I’ve felt pain over there. I don’t want to risk anything.”

The Marlins utility man first experienced the tightness on Sunday when he was running to first base on groundout during his final at-bat.

And considering Bonifacio’s greatest asset is his speed, Rodriguez said the team would miss – literally and figuratively – his speedster for at least “three, four, five” games.

“To be honest, we can manage being without Hanley, but it’s hard to manage without Bonny because he can play everywhere,” Rodriguez said.

Hitting coach John Mallee also joined the Marlins injury list after tearing his left biceps tendon on Monday when lifting a protective screen during batting practice. Mallee said he would undergo surgery on Wednesday.

-Didier Morais

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