DENVER -- Outfielder Justin Ruggiano tested his sore right oblique Friday by swinging off a tee and doing soft-toss drills with positive results.
"The more swings, the less I felt it," Ruggiano said. "So it seems like when it's good and warmed up and stretched out, everything feels good. As soon as I can get to where I can swing and not feel it, I'm ready."
Ruggiano came out of Wednesday's game at Philadelphia with an oblique strain. He said he has been dealing with stiffness in the lower right side of his back for several weeks, but the oblique is "the most worrisome area."
Ruggiano said he hopes to again hit off a tee and do soft-toss drills Saturday and perhaps take batting practice, with the aim to be ready to play in Sunday's series finale.
"In my mind, I'm hoping for Sunday," he said. "But at the same time, if I rush it and it's not ready, then it's not helping me, it's not helping anybody."
Bonifacio to return exclusively as center fielder
DENVER -- Emilio Bonifacio will come off the disabled list Sunday and rejoin the Marlins as a center fielder. Manager Ozzie Guillen said Bonifacio only will play that position for the balance of the season and not play second base, where there is a greater chance of injury to Bonifacio's surgically repaired left thumb.
"Right now, we're leaning for him to be back in the outfield for a lot of reasons," Guillen said. "We're going to try to prevent injuries from now on. When he heals completely, we might change our mind and move him back to second base. The idea right now is to get him some at-bats and help us a little more, I think less risk is going to be in the outfield."
After having a chance to fully heal in the offseason, and with the benefit of six weeks of practice in Spring Training, Guillen said the Marlins might have Bonifacio play second base.
"I like him better in the outfield," Guillen said, "I've seen him more in the outfield than at second base. That's why I'm saying this. He plays pretty good outfield. Second base, when we put him there, remember we brought him from center field without taking ground balls, nothing."
Lee continues to come up clutch with Marlins
DENVER -- Carlos Lee has been a solid clutch hitter throughout his career, which has included stops with four previous teams before the Marlins, who acquired him from the Astros on July 4.
With runners in scoring position this season entering Friday, Lee is 35-for-104 (.337) with one homer and 45 RBIs. With the Marlins, he's 16-for-36 (.444) with one homer and 25 RBIs in those situations.
"I guess [my] concentration level goes up," said Lee, who doubled home a run with two outs in the first inning on Friday night. "It shouldn't be that way, but it works that way for me. Particularly, maybe I concentrate a little more on staying inside the ball, [hitting to] the middle of the field."
Lee said it would be nice to have that heightened concentration level every time he came to the plate, and his teammates have made a tongue-in-cheek suggestion about how to achieve it.
"I try to," Lee said. "But it doesn't work that way. Even my teammates say they will put mannequins on the bases."
Giancarlo Stanton is in select Coors Field company. He's homered in each of the five games he's played there -- three last year, one in Thursday's series opener and another mammoth one on Friday.
The only other visiting player who has ever homered in five consecutive games at Coors Field is Jeff Kent from Aug. 26-Sept. 16, 2003, according to Stats. Inc. Stanton is one of seven visiting players and the second Marlin to hit at least one homer in four consecutive games at Coors Field. The others are former Marlin Jeff Conine in 1996, Chipper Jones, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr., Khalil Greene and Ryan Ludwick.
Coors Field and Marlins Park couldn't be more different, the former a hitter's paradise and the latter a place where pitchers thrive. Entering Friday, there had been 174 home runs hit at Coors Field in 62 games, 77 by the Rockies. In 60 games this season at Marlins Park, 86 home runs have been hit, 44 by the Marlins.
Marlins third-base coach Joe Espada had a brief, obscure history in the Rockies' organization. He was playing at Triple-A Calgary when the Rockies traded pitcher Juan Acevedo for him on Aug. 6, 2001. Espada said the Rockies were looking for insurance for shortstop Juan Uribe, but Espada played just seven games at Triple-A Colorado Springs and hit .259 (7-for-32). "I had really bad patellar tendinitis that year, and I couldn't play through it," Espada said. After the 2001 season, Espada signed a minor league contract with the Royals organization.
Jack Etkin is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.