Bonifacio adds spark to Marlins' lineup

Bonifacio adds spark to Marlins' lineup

Bonifacio adds spark to Marlins' lineup
CHICAGO -- He can swipe a bag or drop a squeeze bunt or run a long fly ball down in center field.

Emilio Bonifacio brings so much to the table for the Marlins, which is why he is one of the team's most likeable players.

"I think Boni back, I don't know, but the team feels a little bit different with Boni," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I don't know why. I think, maybe it's because everybody loves this kid. The way he plays the game. The way he goes about his job. For some reason, he makes this ballclub more interesting and fun."

Bonifacio certainly was missed when he was lost for nearly two months due to a torn ligament in his left thumb. The speedster was placed on the disabled list on May 20 and reinstated on July 13.

In Monday's win over the Nationals, Bonifacio dropped a squeeze bunt that brought in a crucial insurance run.

On Tuesday night, he reached on a bunt single that loaded the bases in the fourth inning. Carlos Lee followed with a grand slam that highlighted Miami's 9-5 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

"That's part of my game, especially in close games," Bonifacio said of being able to bunt. "When we need a big hit with runners in scoring position, I try to play a small game. That helps a lot."

On Wednesday, Bonifacio had a single, double and triple.

When on the bases, Bonifacio is wearing a protective guard, which he slips into his back pocket when he is batting. He plans on using the guard for the remainder of the season.

The thumb, which required surgery, is not giving him any problems. The rest even has kept his legs fresh.

"My first couple of games, I was a little tired," he said. "I was working on my legs. It's not the same as playing every day."

With more than two months remaining in the season, the Marlins will be looking for Bonifacio to help energize the club.