In Pawtucket, Craig says foot feels better

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Allen Craig can’t wait to get back to Boston, and the Red Sox outfielder took the first steps toward accomplishing that goal on Monday.

The 30-year-old first baseman/outfielder, acquired along with Joe Kelly in the deal for John Lackey, played seven innings as the Pawtucket DH on Monday and went 0-for-2 with a walk in three plate appearances. He was hitting .237 with 7 homers and 44 RBIs on the season, which includes only four at-bats as a member of the Red Sox (going 1-for-4), when he was put on the DL.

His troublesome left foot, which he aggravated running to first in an Aug. 2 game in Boston, was feeling better.

“That was kinda the plan, just to get out there and play a little bit, get three at-bats, see some pitches and see how everything felt,” he said after he was pinch hit for by Travis Shaw in the seventh inning. “It felt good.”

The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder flew out to center in the first, walked in the third and struck out in the fifth.

Craig will have an off day on Tuesday, then return to Pawtucket on Wednesday and Thursday to play the field. He said he did some running and shagged fly balls in right field on Monday, and reported no problems with his healing foot.

“I got to first on the walk, then I ran to second on the force out,” he said. “Today was a good day of baseball. It feels good to get out there.”

And while the results weren’t spectacular at the plate, Craig will take the reps.

“The most important thing is to make sure everything feels good, testing my foot,” he said. “I think I passed that milestone.”

Luckily for Craig and the Red Sox, this injury doesn’t compare to the one he suffered last season in St. Louis that hobbled him for the end of the season and into the postseason.

“It’s not even close to what it was last year,” Craig said. “It’s just something that I tweaked a little bit unfortunately in that game, so we just wanted to take it and make sure everything’s good.”

So far, so good on the rehab trail. And as long as that continues to be the case, Craig hopes his is a short stay in Triple-A.

“I’m extremely eager [to get back to the big leagues,]” he said. “I’m excited for that opportunity and obviously disappointed that I tweaked my foot a little bit. But that’s how it goes sometimes, you just gotta be patient with it. I’m really excited to get out there and put the uniform on and play with the guys.”

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.