Red Sox-Marlins Preview

The Associated Press

The Boston Red Sox still aren't putting many runs on the board, but they had enough in their last game.

They would have needed a few more to come out on top in Felix Doubront's last outing.

Doubront will try to rebound from his worst start of the season Wednesday night when the Red Sox go for their fourth consecutive series win visiting the Miami Marlins.

Among the major league leaders with 4.98 runs per game, Boston (30-32) has scored three or fewer in a season high-tying four straight contests after ending a four-game skid with Tuesday's 2-1 victory.

Last in the AL East, the Red Sox are batting .217 and averaging 3.0 runs while dropping seven of nine.

Boston, though, hasn't had problems scoring when Doubront (6-3, 4.34 ERA) is on the hill. The left-hander has one of the majors' highest run-support averages at 7.06.

Doubront could have used more help from his teammates in a 7-4 loss to Washington on Friday when he yielded a career-high six runs in four innings.

The left-hander had won his previous two starts.

"Felix was off, obviously," manager Bobby Valentine told the Red Sox's official website. "He wasn't ahead of hitters. He pitched a little more tentatively than he's pitched most of the year. He's working his curveball early in counts rather than his two-seamer. He was just a little off tonight, for sure."

Doubront will face the Marlins for the first time as Boston looks to win two of three in the series. The Red Sox have gone 2-1 in each of their previous three visits to Miami.

The Marlins (32-30) could prevent that from happening - and avoid a 1-8 homestand - but their chances don't look good if they can't get their offense in gear. Miami stuck out 12 times Tuesday and is batting .205 with 15 total runs during this stretch at Marlins Park.

That doesn't bode well for Wednesday's scheduled starter Ricky Nolasco (6-4, 4.36), who is 2-3 with a 5.56 ERA in six home starts after walking a season-high four and giving up three runs in Friday's 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay.

The right-hander gets his second start versus Boston after throwing five innings of one-run ball in a 2-1 victory at Fenway Park on June 18, 2009.

With the Marlins getting an off day Thursday before beginning a six-game trip that ends in Boston next week, manager Ozzie Guillen could give Hanley Ramirez a break in the series finale. The third baseman had two hits Tuesday but is batting .115 (3 for 26) with seven strikeouts on the homestand.

"I just told somebody yesterday that if we're going to give Hanley a day off, I don't mind playing (rookie Donovan) Solano at third," Guillen told the Marlins' official website. "That's how good he's been."

Solano had two RBIs in Monday's 4-1 series-opening victory and is batting .455 (10 for 22) since being called up May 20.

Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison is 6 for 11 with a homer, three doubles, and two RBIs in the last three games after hitting a solo shot Tuesday.

David Ortiz should be back at first base Wednesday after being out of the Red Sox's lineup for just the second time this season. Ortiz is 2 for 15 in NL parks in 2012 after striking out in a pinch-hit appearance Tuesday.

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