Red Sox 11, Marlins 5
MIAMI (AP)—There were postgame fireworks at Dolphin Stadium, helping lure the biggest crowd of the season.
“Those two guys in the middle, something special,” Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. “They beat us.”
Boston’s major league-record run of 17 consecutive errorless games ended with two miscues in the first inning, but the offense easily atoned for those mistakes. The Red Sox—who are 13-1 in their last 14 games—had 13 hits, including nine for extra bases. Former Marlin Mike Lowell tied a career high with three doubles.
“We made up for it, so it was OK,” Boston manager Terry Francona said.
Ramirez had a three-run homer—his 2,000th career hit—in an eventful first inning, then added a two-run shot in the sixth. Ortiz had a solo homer in the third, a two-run homer in the fourth and narrowly missed another in the sixth, settling for a long RBI double off the left-field scoreboard.
With their team up 11-1, each slugger was removed from the game midway through the sixth, drawing a few boos from another pro-Boston crowd of 38,014— a season high at Dolphin Stadium, 5,820 more than the previous best set Friday night.
“Sometimes in this ballpark, the ball carries very well,” said Red Sox shortstop Alex Gonzalez, another former Marlin. “I told (Ortiz) that in batting practice.”
Miguel Olivo hit a two-run homer in the eighth and Mike Jacobs went 3-for-4 with two doubles for Florida, which lost for the fifth time in its last 19 games but remained alone in second in the NL East—albeit 11 1/2 games behind the New York Mets.
Tim Wakefield (6-8), the first knuckleballer to face Florida since May 22, 2004, allowed three runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings for Boston, which moved four games ahead of Toronto and the New York Yankees in the AL East.
“I’m just very fortunate that David and Manny had a huge night for us tonight,” said Wakefield, who got career win No. 150 in his 300th start with the Red Sox.
Brian Moehler (5-7) left after throwing 32 pitches in two-thirds of an inning because of a sprained right foot, but not before allowing Ramirez’s three-run drive. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game, as the Marlins recalled left-hander Renyel Pinto from Triple-A Albuquerque.
Anibal Sanchez—who threw 5 2-3 shutout innings against the New York Yankees last weekend in his first major league appearance—replaced him and struggled, giving up eight hits and seven runs, including three homers, in 4 1-3 innings.
“I didn’t have good command of my fastball,” Sanchez said. “I had good command of my curveball, so I only had one pitch today. I was behind in the count all the time.
Boston’s error-free run ended when catcher Doug Mirabelli’s throw to second base sailed into center field in the first.
Hanley Ramirez stole second on the play and advanced to third on Mirabelli’s errant throw. Two batters later, shortstop Alex Gonzalez made his second error in 240 chances this season, throwing the ball well away from second baseman Alex Cora in an effort to force out Jacobs.
“I just got the ball on the end of my fingers,” Gonzalez said. “It’s going to happen.”
The Red Sox entered Saturday’s game with a streak of 668 errorless chances, and their 23 errors entering July were the lowest by any team going back to at least 1960.
But on this night, the two botched plays didn’t matter much, thanks to Ramirez and Ortiz—whose homers combined to sail an estimated 1,633 feet.
It was the fourth two-homer game of the season for Ramirez, who has 22 home runs and 60 RBIs, and the second for Ortiz, whose totals jumped to 25 homers and 74 RBIs. Ortiz hit a line-drive homer to center, a towering fly to right, and nearly put one over the left-field fence, too.
“First one he hit to center field, there was no effort behind his swing,” Francona said. “That was really nice to see. You hit a ball to right, to center, to left, that’s saying something. That means you’re seeing the ball pretty good.”
The Red Sox got Manny Ramirez’s 2,000th hit ball back from the fan who caught it, trading it for two signed baseballs and a bat. … Marlins 2B Alfredo Amezaga was hit by a Javier Lopez pitch on the left knee in the eighth inning. Amezaga was shaken up, but remained in the game. … Gonzalez hit a one-out double in the ninth, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Mark Loretta’s 13-game hitting streak for Boston was unchanged; he had the night off. … Boston has scored at least 10 runs in five of its last 12 games, and the four homers matched a season high set on three other occasions. … The Marlins took batting practice against knuckleball-throwing coaches before the game; OF Jeremy Hermida lost his bat on one pregame swing.