The Red Sox are going for a four-game winning streak and a series win against the Miami Marlins Wednesday night.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Red Sox 15, Marlins 5, Final -- Mark Melancon hardly needs a 1-2-3 ninth, but he gets it all the same, ending the game in quick, clean fashion for the win.
Red Sox 15, Marlins 5, End 8th -- It was going to be difficult for anyone to provide a significant improvement to this ridiculous night, but Bobby V turned to exactly the right guy to do it: Will Middlebrooks. Catching a rising inside fastball from Steve Cishek, Middlebrooks launched another one of his rocket shots into the Monster seats, making it 15-5 with Jarrod Saltalamacchia on in front of him. That's the first bomb for Middlebrooks since May 30.
Red Sox 13, Marlins 5, Mid 8th -- Another hard hit ball off of Clayton Mortensen leaves him with another runner in scoring position, but since it comes with one out he doesn't have to perform quite the same level of escape act to avoid harm, simply inducing a ground out (from Austin Kearns, who just can't wait for this night to be over) and fly ball to end the top of the eighth.
Red Sox 13, Marlins 5, End 7th -- Daniel Nava picks up his fourth hit of the night before being erased by a Ryan Kalish double play in a 1-2-3 seventh. Nava hasn't missed a step in returning from his hand injury, with six hits now in eight at bats. It's just been an unreal season for a guy it's impossible not to root for.
Red Sox 13, Marlins 5, Mid 7th -- Clayton Mortensen doesn't look nearly so sharp as he did during his first call-up. His second pitch of the night is taken very deep to left, into the back row of the Monster seats for a solo shot. Two pitches later, and Donovan Solano has a double off the top of the scoreboard. Mortensen manages to tighten up, however, cleanly fielding a come-backer to keep Solano at second, then getting a pair of fly balls to end the inning without any further damage.
Red Sox 13, Marlins 4, End 6th -- Kevin Youkilis builds the old trade value with a double in an otherwise clean inning for Hatcher--the first the Marlins have had since the first.
Red Sox 13, Marlins 4, Mid 6th -- Felix Doubront manages to pick up another 1-2-3 inning thanks to a Gaby Sanchez double play, and strikes out Austin Kearns for the third time to boot. It's not a good outing for Doubront, but he's made it passable since the bad start.
Red Sox 13, Marlins 4, End 5th -- Hatcher seems ready to surrender another huge inning, but finally manages to settle down with the bases loaded. While a pitch that bounces behind John Buck manages to bring in a run, this time neither David Ortiz nor Cody Ross can put the bat on the ball, leaving the Sox with just the one to show for their efforts in the fifth.
Red Sox 12, Marlins 4, Mid 5th -- Felix Doubront has a bit of a messy fifth inning, but after giving up a leadoff single and hitting Logan Morrison (with a mid-80s cutter), the southpaw manages to escape unharmed by getting Justin Ruggiano to swing through a changeup for the strikeout.
Red Sox 12, Marlins 4, End 4th -- A delightfully lengthy inning seems to have this one in the bag for the Red Sox.
The inning started inconspicuously enough. A questionable call on an infield single for Mike Aviles, a pop-up for Nick Punto, not much to see here. Even when Daniel Nava hit another hard ground ball to move Aviles to third and reach first himself, it was just a small jam.
But as we know, the floodgates opened in the third, and once they're open, it takes a while for them to close. Ryan Kalish made it 7-4 by hitting a ground ball that pulled Gaby Sanchez away from the bag and made Omar Infante throw to a late-arriving Ricky Nolasco. Ozzie Guillen decided he'd seen enough, and in came Chris Hatcher.
It did not go well for Mr. Hatcher.
After falling behind 1-2, Adrian Gonzalez managed to work the count full and, on the seventh pitch he saw, lace a single into right field to load the bases. Up came David Ortiz and, with nowhere left to put him this time, the Marlins had to pitch to him. So far this year that's rarely ended well for the team in the field, and this time was no different. The 0-1 fastball was inside, or rather in Ortiz' wheelhouse, and he cleaned it out. Another swing showing all the power of the Ortiz of old deposited the ball a good ten rows back in the right field stands, and Papi had his 11th career grand slam.
Cody Ross nearly made it back-to-back long balls, but his loud contact produced too much lift and not enough drive, dying on the track in left field. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, up next, had no such problem. Falling behind 2-0, Hatcher delivered a middle-middle fastball, and Salty drove it into the seats by the batter's eye in dead center, making it 12-4, Sox.
Red Sox 6, Marlins 4, Mid 4th -- So much for that turnaround. Things get bad in a hurry in the fourth, as Logan Morrison launches a 1-0 fastball to right, bouncing it emphatically off the top half of the foul pole to cut the lead to 6-3. Justin Ruggiano is right behind him with a fly ball to dead center that ends up bouncing around the large door on the wall, letting him run to third unopposed. Doubront almost manages to escape the jam with a pop-up and a strikeout (again on Austin Kearns), but a bloop single to center field manages to score the run despite his best efforts, leaving Boston's lead at just two.
Red Sox 6, Marlins 2, End 3rd -- And the floodgates have opened against Ricky Nolasco. The first two batters in Daniel Nava and Ryan Kalish both managed to reach on singles, and after Adrian Gonzalez' ground ball out moved them into scoring position, the Marlins elected to intentionally walk David Ortiz to get to Cody Ross.
It's hard to really question anyone intentionally walking Big Papi in a year and situation like this, but for once it certainly didn't help any. Falling behind 2-0 in the count, Ricky Nolasco delivered a fastball down the middle to Cody Ross, who pulled a line drive past a leaping Logan Morrison and off the wall in left. With the carom bouncing well away from Morrison, David Ortiz was able to chug all the way around from first, scoring as the ball got away from John Buck at the plate and Ross pulled into second with a bases clearing double.
Red Sox 3, Marlins 2, Mid 3rd -- Felix Doubront has a nice turn-around inning in the third, earning a 1-2-3 inning against Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, and Giancarlo Stanton with Reyes leading things off with an easy bunt pop-up to Kevin Youkilis.
Red Sox 3, Marlins 2, End 2nd -- And just like that, the Sox are on top. Two-out trouble of the most frustrating variety has Ricky Nolasco's night suddenly looking a lot worse. After sitting down the first five Red Sox he faced, Nolasco was finally punished for his predictability by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who seemed to be sitting off-speed and was able to reach out and put a measured swing on an outside, 82 MPH splitter and hook it through the left side of the infield on a line for the first Boston hit of the night.
The ensuing ground ball from Kevin Youkilis didn't quite manage to find a hole, but managed to get Jose Reyes going far enough in the wrong direction that his throw to second was too late to get a sliding Saltalamacchia. Turning his attention to Mike Aviles at the plate, Ricky Nolasco threw one high slider, and Aviles crushed it into the Monster seats to give Boston the lead.
Marlins 2, Red Sox 0, Mid 2nd -- Second verse, same as the first. Doubront gives up a line drive double to Justin Ruggiano to start the inning, can't get a bunt over to first in time for the out, and while he does manage to get a strikeout off of Austin Kearns, a ground ball is once again enough to get the run in the back door as Kevin Youkilis' only play on Gaby Sanchez' slow roller is to first.
Marlins 1, Red Sox 0, End 1st -- Ricky Nolasco has a strategy: don't throw fastballs. With seven of his ten first-inning offerings coming from his off-speed repertoire, the Sox didn't figure Nolasco out fast enough to make him pay for it in the first, with two ground ball outs to first and a rather pitiful first-pitch pop-up from Adrian Gonzalez suggesting he may have been wise to avoid the hard stuff.
Marlins 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- The Sox are forced to simply limit the damage in the first as Felix Doubront comes out looking anything but sharp against the team he held without a hit for more than five innings in his last outing. Falling behind both Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez, Doubront quickly found himself with runners on first and third after a pair of singles. Giancarlo Stanton was helpful enough to ground into a double play on the first pitch he saw, but that just let Reyes come in the back door to pick up the first run of the night.