MIA@TB: Bour loads the bases with first career hit

ARLINGTON -- The Marlins have cleared the way for Rafael Furcal to finally join the team.

After a 6-0 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday night at Globe Life Park, Miami optioned first baseman Justin Bour to Triple-A New Orleans.

The team didn't announce a corresponding move, but there now is an opening for Furcal to finally make his Marlins debut. The veteran infielder has been on the disabled list all season due to a left hamstring strain and a right groin strain.

Before the 36-year-old is added, the club will have to make a corresponding 40-man roster move.

When asked about Furcal on Wednesday, Miami manager Mike Redmond simply said he expects to see the veteran second baseman soon.

Miami signed Furcal, a career shortstop, as a free agent in the offseason to play second base. He hasn't played in the big leagues since 2012 while with St. Louis. He missed all of last year due to Tommy John surgery.

Furcal was scheduled to play in a rehab-assignment game on Wednesday with Class A Jupiter, but it was rained out.

Bour showed promised in his brief callup from New Orleans. He went 5-for-13 (.385) in three starts as a designated hitter.

At New Orleans, Bour is batting .330 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs.

Rather than carry Bour as a lefty pinch-hitter against National League teams, Miami wanted him to go back to New Orleans, where he will play every day.

Salty to play rehab games at Jupiter starting Monday

ATL@MIA: Saltalamacchia takes foul ball off mask

ARLINGTON -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia is moving closer to appearing in game action, but it won't initially be at the big league level.

The Miami catcher is on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

"He's feeling a lot better," manager Mike Redmond said. "He's still doing the baseball activities, throwing, catching a bullpen [session], hitting and running."

Saltalamacchia last played on May 31, when he was struck in the mask by a foul tip off the bat of Atlanta's Justin Upton.

The plan is for the 29-year-old to move toward playing in a simulated game in the upcoming days. Beginning on Monday, he is expected to play for Class A Jupiter.

By rule, players on the seven-day concussion DL can stay in that status for 14 days. Once the time off reaches 15 days, they must be transferred to the 15-day DL.

It appears Saltalamacchia will be heading to the 15-day DL. But that doesn't mean he will miss another two-plus weeks. His concussion time served transfers, so he could be activated whenever the team feels he is ready.

"I think we will wait and see how he feels," Redmond said. "He's been out quite a few days. We just want to make sure he feels good and is ready to go when he comes back. It's been a couple weeks. That would make sense for him to get in a game and get used to the grind again, get a couple at-bats."

Texas native Ramos relishes outing in Arlington

MIA@TEX: Ramos strikes out one in scoreless outing

ARLINGTON -- It felt like home when A.J. Ramos took the mound in the eighth inning on Tuesday night at Globe Life Park.

A native of Lubbock, Texas, Ramos had 94 family members and more than 150 friends rooting for him at the ballpark in Miami's 8-5 win over the Rangers.

Ramos didn't disappoint, throwing a scoreless inning, with one strikeout and a walk.

"The only time I felt different was when I started to run in," Ramos said on Wednesday. "I started hearing everybody cheering. I got on the mound and they announced my name; that's when I felt different. But once I started to pitch, it was normal. I didn't hear anything after that."

Ramos, 27, hadn't pitched in his home state since he was at Texas Tech in 2009.

When Miami plays at Houston in late July, Ramos says even more relatives will be on hand.

"Man it was awesome," the right-hander said. "It was kind of crazy. From all around the stadium there were a lot of people cheering. People who were there had some part in helping me succeed. It was good for them to come and see me pitch."

Ramos rooted for the Rangers growing up, but he had never played at their ballpark. In college, he did play at Houston's Minute Maid Park. Actually, it was in that tournament that he injured his arm, which led to him undergoing Tommy John surgery.

In college, Ramos was a starter.

"I grew up watching the Rangers," Ramos said. "Being able to play here was amazing."

Ramos personally purchased 30 of the more than 150 tickets his family members and friends used.

He is especially happy his grandmother, Olga, was in attendance.

"She hadn't seen me pitch since college," he said. "She's been taking care of her dad. He's 107 years old."

Top prospect Heaney sticking at Triple-A for now

Andrew Heaney went 4-2 at Jacksonville before moving up to Triple-A.

ARLINGTON -- Barring any last-minute changes, the Marlins have set their rotation for their home series with the Pirates this weekend, and top prospect Andrew Heaney won't be involved.

In the series opener at Marlins Park on Friday, Nathan Eovaldi will get the nod, followed by Randy Wolf on Saturday and Henderson Alvarez on Sunday.

The only possible change could occur if Eovaldi's wife, who is expecting a baby any day, is close to delivering before or on Friday.

If that happens, Wolf and Alvarez would each move up a day.

What does this mean for Heaney? It means the 23-year-old lefty will start for Triple-A New Orleans on Thursday, and his big league callup date remains unclear.

Heaney, the top rated lefty prospect in the game according to MLB.com, is knocking on the door for his first callup. Until that happens, he will continue his development at New Orleans.

"I don't know what more to say," manager Mike Redmond said. "I know there's been a lot of speculation of when he's coming to the big leagues and when that's going to happen. I'm not sure when that's going to happen. But I know he's pitched down there, he's done a nice job, and when that day comes, you guys will be the first to know. But it's not today."

When Heaney does get the call, the Marlins will have to add him to their 40-man roster. And since that roster is full, a corresponding move also must be made.

Worth noting

Henry Rodriguez, the hard-throwing right-handed reliever who had a brief callup with the Marlins, has been released by Triple-A New Orleans. Rodriguez made two relief appearances in May for the Marlins. He appeared in 17 games and threw 25 1/3 innings for New Orleans, and he threw one inning on Tuesday night.

Rodriguez was not on the 40-man roster.