It will be tough for the teams to top the first two games of their interleague series at Fenway Park when they meet in the finale.
Boston embarrassed Florida 25-8 on Friday night, and then squandered a seven-run lead Saturday in a 10-9 loss.
“We set a lot of records the last two nights, didn’t we,” Florida manager Jack McKeon said after Saturday’s win. “You can pop off all you want. You’ve got to back it up.”
After trailing 9-2, Mike Lowell hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning Saturday night as Florida got its biggest comeback victory in franchise history. The previous night, the Red Sox scored 14 in the first inning—and kept scoring from there, much to the Marlins’ disgust.
“We were embarrassed last night,” said McKeon, who complained that Boston showed the Marlins up in Friday’s win. “This takes a little of the taste out of our mouth. They were very jubilant last night. They woke us up.”
Boston had another big inning Saturday, scoring seven in the sixth to take the seven-run lead. The Red Sox looked to cruise until Juan Encarnacion hit a three-run homer in the eighth that got them back in the game.
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Boston.
Florida has won seven of its last nine games to move back to the .500 mark. The Marlins haven’t been over the break-even mark since April 26 when they were 13-12.
STANDINGS: Marlins - 4th place, 11 GB, NL East. Red Sox - 2nd place, 3 GB, AL East.
MARLINS PROBABLE STARTER: Brad Penny (6-5, 4.19 ERA). Penny has alternated wins and losses in his last five starts. Despite getting the victory on Tuesday against New York, the right-hander gave up four runs in six innings. He has faced Boston once in his career and pitched two shutout innings.
RED SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Derek Lowe (8-3, 4.28 ERA). Lowe has won his last five decisions, lowering his ERA a point over the last month. The right-hander gave up one run in eight innings of a 10-1 victory over Detroit on Tuesday. He is 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA in six games against Florida.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Marlins - Alex Gonzalez, .310 avg.; Lowell, 25 HRs, 68 RBIs and 53 runs; Juan Pierre, 35 SBs. Red Sox - Nomar Garciaparra, .343 avg. and 70 runs; Manny Ramirez, 17 HRs and 61 RBIs; Johnny Damon, 14 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Marlins, 9-5; Red Sox, 9-7.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Marlins - RHP Kevin Olsen was put on the 15-day DL, one day after he was hit in the head by Todd Walker’s line drive. Olsen spent a night in the hospital for observation with a concussion; he also needed six stitches to close a cut. … RHP Penny has held 2B Todd Walker to just one hit in 10 career at-bats. … 3B Lowell has already set a career high with his 25 homers. He hit 24 all of last season. Red Sox - SS Garciaparra has hit safely in 31 consecutive home games, and 37 of 38 this season. … OF Gabe Kapler went 4-for-5 on Saturday in his Boston debut. … Boston has scored at least seven runs in an inning three times in the last four games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Marlins - 18-23 on the road; Red Sox - 27-12 at home.
INJURIES: Marlins - RHP Josh Beckett (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Tim Spooneybarger (arm), 15-day DL; RHP Toby Borland (appendicitis), 60-day DL; RHP A.J. Burnett (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Olsen (concussion); 15-day DL. Red Sox - LHP Casey Fossum (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Chad Fox (oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Ramiro Mendoza (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Robert Person (hip), 15-day DL; Jeremy Giambi (shoulder), 15-day DL.