BOSTON -- Back on June 20, the Red Sox were 10 games back in the American League East and seemingly headed for a second straight summer out of contention. But the tables have turned, and Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Marlins left manager John Farrell's surging team just five games back.
"I remember we were playing pretty tough baseball, but lately we've been playing really good," said shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who is an Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote candidate. "Definitely the momentum, the vibe in the clubhouse and everything has changed. It all comes with winning, you know?"
It was Bogaerts who came up with the big hit -- a three-run single to right-center with two outs in the bottom of the seventh against Carter Capps that overturned Miami's 3-1 lead. Boston has won eight of 11.
Lefty Wade Miley turned in a strong start for the Red Sox, allowing seven hits and three runs over 6 2/3 innings while walking two and notching a season-high nine strikeouts. Dan Haren was solid for Miami, giving up six hits and a run over six innings, but the bullpen couldn't hold a 3-1 lead upon his exit.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bogaerts improves All-Star case: Bogaerts, one of five nominees for the American League's Final Vote ballot, helped his cause with not only the big single, but a double to center earlier in the game.
"Right man, right spot," said Farrell. "Against a power arm with a very unorthodox delivery who has been dominant in the time he's been in the big leagues here with them -- to put up an eight-pitch at-bat like he did, he fought off a number of fastballs." More >
Dan gets it done: Haren was far from his most efficient to begin the night, as the Sox worked him for 63 pitches over the first three innings. The veteran flyball pitcher fought his way around traffic on the bases, generating inning-ending double plays in the second and fourth, and he powered through to retire eight of the last nine batters he faced. The outing marked Haren's 12th quality start of the season.
"They had a lot of guys on base early in the game," Haren said. "I was able to make some pitches, get out with some double plays. From then on, I settled in all right." More >
Shaw returns with big night: Boston's Travis Shaw, fresh off his fourth recall from Triple-A Pawtucket this season, belted the first three hits of his career, all singles. Shaw might have had a double in his second at-bat, a shot that reached the wall in center, but he stumbled rounding first.
"Good swings. Even before he gets his first big league hit here tonight, when he was with us previously, he took some good swings on some pitches," Farrell said. "You get a chance to see a guy over a couple of Spring Trainings, and you see their confidence, their maturity. He has come a long way in probably the two years that he's been in big league camp and Spring Training." More >
Extra out seals Marlins' fate: With the Marlins sporting a two-run lead in the seventh, third baseman Miguel Rojas committed a costly error when he booted a routine grounder, allowing Boston to load the bases with one out. Reliever Steve Cishek, who gave up a single and a walk earlier in the inning, was ultimately charged with three unearned runs and took his sixth loss of the season after Bogaerts drove in the go-ahead runs off Capps.
"The guy's a magician with a glove," manager Dan Jennings said of Rojas. "It's just one of those plays where I think he tried to front the ball versus backhand, and then doing that kind of kicked off of him. If we could've recovered and got one out, it would've been fine. But it didn't turn out that way. But you can't fault the kid. He's really a [heck] of a fielder. He can make difficult plays very easily. Tonight it didn't happen." More >
Center stage: Starting in center field for the first time this year, Miami's Christian Yelich impressed with his bat and his glove in a losing effort. He turned in a three-hit day at the plate, including run-scoring drives in the third and seventh, and made a leaping catch at the outfield wall to rob Mookie Betts of a leadoff hit in the fifth. The performance extended his hitting streak to nine games.
"Yelly had two two-out RBIs, three hits on the night, made a great catch up against the wall. He had a big night," Jennings said.
"The two things that have been our strong suits, the back end of our bullpen and our defense, let us down in that seventh inning tonight." -- Jennings, on his team's seventh-inning collapse
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According to Statcast™, the pitch that Bogaerts hit against Capps had a perceived velocity of 105.5 mph, the highest in the Majors this season. This, thanks to a 9.5 extension by Capps. More >
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-3, extending his career-long hitless stretch to 0-for-28. He has not recorded a hit since June 18 against the Yankees.
WHAT'S NEXT Marlins: Miami wraps up its current five-game road trip on Wednesday night at 7:10 ET, when right-hander Tom Koehler (7-4, 3.52 ERA) takes the mound for the finale of this quick two-game series at Fenway Park. Koehler, who comes in on a personal three-game winning streak, will make his first career appearance against the Red Sox.
Red Sox: Right-hander Rick Porcello will try to emerge from a prolonged slump when he makes his final start prior to the All-Star break. Over his last eight starts, Porcello is 0-7 with an 8.18 ERA.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast.
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.