Of all the places Allen Craig has visited during his major league career, his least favorite is the disabled list.
Craig was placed on the DL for the fourth time in his career on Aug. 1 with a sprained left foot. He was injured running the bases in the Red Sox' game against the Yankees at Fenway Park, one day after he was acquired in the trade that sent John Lackey to St. Louis.
Craig commenced a 20-day rehab assignment Monday night with the Pawtucket Red Sox, who lost to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 2-0.
Craig batted third as the DH and went 0 for 2 with a walk.
Facing Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos, Craig flied to center field in the first and walked in the third. Against reliever Chris Leroux, Craig fanned on a 2-2 fastball in the sixth.
He exited the game after the sixth in favor of Travis Shaw.
"That was the plan, to get out there, play a little bit, get three at-bats, see some pitches and see how everything felt," Craig said. "Everything felt good.
"I got to first on the walk and ran to second on a force out. Today, before the game, I did some solid running. I shagged a lot of balls in the outfield, too. Today was a good day of baseball and it was good to get out there."
Craig will take Tuesday off and return to Pawtucket for rehab games on Wednesday and Thursday nights.
"I'll play the field [Wednesday and Thursday]," Craig said. "Today was kind of get out there and see how everything felt and make sure it was good. Everything was good."
Craig shagged balls in right field and said he'll also do so in left.
"The most important thing is to make sure everything feels good," Craig said. "As for testing my foot, I think I passed that milestone.
"When you're out there playing you're always trying to compete. It just felt good to get out there, see some pitches, and compete."
Craig said the way his left foot feels now as compared with when he injured it is baseball's equivalent of the distance between the Earth and the moon.
"It's not even close," Craig said. "We wanted to take it slow and make sure everything's good.
"I'm extremely eager [to return to Boston]. I'm obviously disappointed I tweaked my foot. But that's how it goes sometimes and you have to be patient."
In June 2011, after hitting .336 with 23 RBIs in 107 at-bats, Craig fractured a kneecap in a game against Houston when he ran into the wall while chasing a fly ball in right.
St. Louis placed him on the DL and expected him to return in about six weeks. But the healing process took longer than expected. When Craig finally was activated he hit .290 in 35 games.
Craig opted to have surgery after the season to repair the fracture and spent April 2012 on the DL.
He suffered a Lisfranc injury while running out an infield hit on Sept. 4 last season against Cincinnati. That injury sidelined him for the rest of the regular season and part of the postseason
"It's part of the game," Craig said. "Sometimes I've had some unfortunate, fluky injuries in my opinion and I've had to battle through them.
"But I feel like I've remained productive. Now, I'm looking forward to moving past that."