JUPITER, Fla. — Christian Yelich is making the Miami Marlins think about his role this year.
The Marlins’ top position prospect spoiled Jon Lester’s five sharp innings, hitting a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth that lifted Miami to an 8-7 victory over the Boston Red Sox yesterday.
Yelich is hitting .375 this spring with three homers and 11 RBIs in 14 games.
“Hopefully I’m leaving a good impression, obviously,” Yelich said. “I have no idea what’s going to happen. It’s completely out of my control.”
Yelich and Miami’s top overall prospect, right-hander Jose Fernandez, both came to spring training projected to start the season at Double-A.
Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez recently said about Yelich, “He’s ready.”
What Yelich did on the game’s final pitch, Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr. did on the game’s first pitch: He homered off Kevin Slowey’s first offering, and he reached base four times.
Bradley Jr. went 3 for 4 to raise his average to .519 (14 for 27). He added an RBI double in the fourth.
“As we get further into camp and pitchers are getting their timing down, he’s still taking great swings and making good contact,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Lester allowed a first-inning run and three hits. He struck out four and retired the last 11 batters he faced.
“I feel pretty good, but I don’t want to have everything clicking right now. I kind if want to build it up to that first start,” Lester said. “I feel good, and that’s the main thing.”
Slowey gave up three runs and two hits in three innings as he fights to become Miami’s fifth starter. He walked two and struck out five in his first spring start after previously throwing 6 1-3 scoreless relief innings.
Kevin Kouzmanoff’s three-run double highlighted Miami’s five-run seventh.
NOTES: Miami OF Jake Marisnick is expected to be sidelined four weeks with a broken left hand. Marisnick was injured when hit by a pitch from Trevor Rosenthal in Wednesday’s game against St. Louis. The break was discovered Monday after initial X-rays failed to show the injury. ... Boston reliever Rubby De La Rosa gave up five runs, four walks and two hits in 2-3 of an inning. He threw 36 pitches and walked in two runs. ... The Marlins optioned RHP Evan Reed, RHP Alex Sanabia, LHP Brad Hand, OF Kyle Jenson to Triple-A New Orleans (Pacific Coast League); RHP Sam Dyson, LHP Edgar Olmos, OF Marcell Ozuna to Double-A Jacksonville (Southern League); re-assigned RHP Jordan Smith & C Wilfredo Gimenez to minor league camp.