BOSTON -- Backed by a much-needed strong performance by Rick Porcello and a two-run homer by David Ortiz, the Red Sox continued their recent hot streak by rolling to a 6-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
Not only are the Red Sox in the midst of their first four-game winning streak of the season, but they've won nine out of 12.
"It's a long season," said Ortiz. "You can't get down because the first couple of months everybody struggles. You play through the season. This is a winning ballclub."
Porcello, who had struggled mightily in the eight-start span that preceded this one, held the Marlins to two runs over six innings for his first win since May 16. Ortiz belted his two-run shot in the third, and later added a double that bounced near the 420-foot sign in right-center.
Tom Koehler struggled for the Marlins, giving up five hits and five runs, one earned, over six innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Porcello settles down: Just when it looked like Porcello was about to unravel, he righted himself. After the Marlins struck five straight hits against him for two runs in the fourth, the righty got out of the inning without further damage. In fact, it was Porcello who made a nifty snag on a hot shot back to the mound by Christian Yelich to end the inning. Porcello retired the final eight batters he faced. More >
More miscues from Miami: The Marlins sunk themselves by committing three errors, a mark that tied their season-high. Koehler caused the first self-inflicted wound in the third by overthrowing first baseman Justin Bour on an easy grounder, which put men on first and second with one out, and went on to allow four unearned runs. Miami made two more mistakes in the seventh -- one on a botched throw to first by Sam Dyson, and another when J.T. Realmuto's throw to third sailed into the outfield -- that handed Boston a four-run lead.
"It's unfortunate I wasn't able to make that play," Koehler said. "It kind of led to a big inning and ultimately cost us the game." More >
Ortiz back in groove: After going hitless in three straight games entering Wednesday, Ortiz hit two missiles, including the two-run solo shot that cleared the Green Monster in the third. Heading into a big three-game series against the Yankees, it's important for the Red Sox that Ortiz is going well.
"He's been swinging the bat well and he's taken better swings against left-handers as well," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "It's good to see him drive the ball out of the ballpark the other way, against a breaking ball from Koehler. And then the line drive, ground-rule double, there was a lot of hard contact from him tonight. Solid night for him."
Left 'em loaded: The Marlins recorded five consecutive singles in the third inning, including a bloop hit by Ichiro Suzuki that ended a career-worst 0-for-29 skid, but they only came away with two runs after Dee Gordon and Christian Yelich grounded out to leave the bases loaded. Michael Morse scored the only other run with a solo shot to right in the eighth, which snapped a 27-game homerless stretch dating back to April 18. Miami collected twice as many hits (10) as the Red Sox (five) but fell to 26-15 when out-hitting the opposing team.
"I was very pleased with the offense, the way they battled," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "Ten base hits, usually 10 is enough to win. We just have to do a little better job with runners out there in scoring position. That's going to come. That'll grow." More >
"Really uncharacteristic of who we've been. We have to do a better job of taking care of the ball. There's no excuse for that. Five of those runs were unearned. We gave up 10 runs in two games [against Boston], and only two were earned. We're a better team than that, defense has been our strong point. Unacceptable tonight the way we didn't take care of the ball." --Jennings, on his team committing three errors
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Gordon became the third player in franchise history to steal 30 bases before the All-Star break after he swiped second in the third inning. The other two are Juan Pierre (44 steals in 2003) and Luis Castillo (36 in '00).
WHAT'S NEXT Marlins: Miami returns home on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. ET to begin a four-game series against the Reds at Marlins Park that leads into the All-Star break. Electric right-hander Jose Fernandez, who allowed three runs over six innings in his first start back from Tommy John surgery, gets the call. Fernandez has allowed seven runs in 11 career innings against Cincinnati.
Red Sox: Right-hander Clay Buchholz, Boston's hottest pitcher of late, opens a three-game showdown against the Yankees on Friday night at Fenway Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET. It is the first meeting between the teams since May 3, when the Yankees completed a three-game sweep in Boston..