Boston at Florida

W: M. Timlin (4-0) L: R. Messenger (1-4)
S: J. Papelbon (25)
HR: BOS - K. Youkilis (10), J. Varitek (8), D. Ortiz (26)   FLA - H. Ramirez (4), M. Cabrera (13)

Sac fly by Loretta leads to series win for Red Sox

CBS wire reports

MIAMI -- The Boston Red Sox may not want interleague play to end.

Mark Loretta eighth-inning sacrifice fly brought Alex Cora home with the go-ahead run Sunday, and David Ortiz hit his third homer in two days to help the Red Sox beat the Florida Marlins 4-3 in the teams' interleague finale.

Boston went 16-2 against the National League this season, tying the highest victory total in interleague history; Oakland won that many in 2002 and Minnesota did it this year, finishing its run off with an 8-0 win Sunday over Milwaukee.

"Hopefully, it just means that we're playing good baseball and we can beat whoever we play," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis and Jason Varitek all hit solo homers for the Red Sox (50-29), who took two of three against the Marlins (35-43) and moved a season-high 21 games over .500.

Youkilis' home run led off the game and Varitek's led off the second inning for Boston. Ortiz added his 26th homer in the third, one day after his two-homer, four-RBI effort helped Boston win Saturday.

"It's cool coming down, seeing your people, have people get to see you play," Ortiz said. "We don't get down here a lot."

Jonathan Papelbon pitched 1 1/3 innings for his 25th save in 27 chances. He came in with two outs and the bases empty in the eighth to face Miguel Cabrera, who tied the game with a solo homer in the seventh -- and got Florida's best hitter to ground out to shortstop.

"That was the first time I had seen him," Cabrera said. "I knew he had a good sinker. On 3-1, he threw the sinker, and he beat me."

Former top Boston prospect Hanley Ramirez had two hits, including a leadoff home run for the Marlins, who tied a season-high by stranding 13 runners. Boston left only two on base.

Miguel Olivo had a run-scoring single in the fifth for Florida, cutting Boston's cushion to 3-2 by bringing home Cabrera -- who reached three batters earlier on an infield hit. Cabrera tied it with his 13th homer of the year, but the Marlins left the bases loaded for the second time in the game.

"Pitchers are paid to make pitches and hitters are paid to drive in runs," Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. "They did a little better job than we did today."

Cora reached to lead off the eighth when Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla couldn't cleanly field his grounder, and the Red Sox took advantage. Cora went to third on Gabe Kapler's sharp single, and scored two batters later on the flyball by Loretta -- whose 13-game hitting streak ended.

Mike Timlin (4-0), who got out of Florida's bases-loaded situation in the seventh, got the win with one shutout inning. Randy Messenger (1-4) took the loss after allowing Cora's unearned run.

"I just had a tough play," Uggla said. "That was a weird ball. It was in between hops. If I had caught it clean, I would have made the play."

Marlins starter Josh Johnson allowed only four hits -- the three solo homers and a first-inning single to Manny Ramirez -- in seven innings, the last four of which were hitless. He walked four and struck out five. Johnson came in having allowed three homers all year, then saw that total double in the first 2 2/3 innings.

"He got his rhythm after the third and figured it out," Girardi said.

Red Sox rookie Jon Lester saw his bid at winning a fourth straight start end when Cabrera homered off Julian Tavarez; Lester allowed two runs and seven hits in five innings, leaving with a 3-2 lead.

Lester walked Johnson on four pitches in the second, getting himself into a bases-loaded, no-out jam. He got Hanley Ramirez to fly out to short right, keeping Joe Borchard at third base. Uggla popped out to third for the second out, and Cabrera flied out to center to end the inning.

"He finds a way to limit the damage," Francona said. "Which, for a young kid, I think is especially exciting."

In the seventh, the Marlins loaded the bases again, this time with one out. Timlin escaped, though, getting pinch-hitters Jeremy Hermida and Mike Jacobs to pop out and end the threat.

"You've got to make your own breaks," Youkilis said. "We put ourselves in a bind a couple times, but we battled out of it. If it was easy every day, there'd be a team that wins 140 games a year."


  • It was the first time in exactly one year that a game featured two leadoff home runs. Orlando Palmeiro and Felipe Lopez did it for Houston and Cincinnati on July 2, 2005.
  • Hanley Ramirez's leadoff homer was his first in 150 at-bats in his home park.
  • The Red Sox made two more errors, giving them four in two games -- after their major league-record 17-game run of perfect defense ended Saturday.
  • All but one of Varitek's eight homers have come on the road.
  • Ortiz, who made only his seventh start at first base, was charged with an error in the third inning when he dropped a popup near the Marlins' dugout.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Jason Varitek gets a quick congrats from Coco Crisp after hitting his second-inning homer.  (AP)
Jason Varitek gets a quick congrats from Coco Crisp after hitting his second-inning homer. (AP)

Players of the Game

D. Ortiz
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

M. Cabrera
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Boston Red Sox
Kevin Youkilis, 3B-1B4111012
Mark Loretta, 2B3001000
David Ortiz, 1B4111001
    Manny Delcarmen, P0000000
    Jonathan Papelbon, P0000000
Manny Ramirez, LF3010110
Trot Nixon, RF2000202
Jason Varitek, C3111101
Coco Crisp, CF3000011
    Mike Timlin, P0000000
    Mike Lowell, 3B0000000
Alex Cora, SS3100000
Jon Lester, P2000020
    Julian Tavarez, P0000000
    Gabe Kapler, CF1010000
HR - Kevin Youkilis (, Johnson), David Ortiz (, Johnson), Jason Varitek (, Johnson)
SF - Mark Loretta ()
RBI - Kevin Youkilis (), Mark Loretta (), David Ortiz (), Jason Varitek ()
2-OUT RBI - David Ortiz ()
CS - Manny Ramirez (, 2nd base by Johnson/Olivo), Trot Nixon (, 2nd base by Johnson/Olivo)
Team LOB - 2
DP - Cora-Loretta-Ortiz
E - David Ortiz (, Dropped fly), Kevin Youkilis (, Throwing error)
Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester 5722331
Julian Tavarez (BS,) 1211101
Mike Timlin (W,-) 1000100
Manny Delcarmen (H,) 0.2000010
Jonathan Papelbon (S,) 1.1000110
HBP - Abercrombie (by Jon Lester), Willingham (by Jon Lester)
WP - Julian Tavarez ()
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 99-54, Julian Tavarez 24-12, Mike Timlin 24-16, Manny Delcarmen 7-6, Jonathan Papelbon 22-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 3-7, Julian Tavarez 3-0, Mike Timlin 2-2, Jonathan Papelbon 3-0
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 25, Julian Tavarez 6, Mike Timlin 5, Manny Delcarmen 2, Jonathan Papelbon 5
Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS5121003
Dan Uggla, 2B5010014
Miguel Cabrera, 3B5221004
Josh Willingham, LF1000310
Wes Helms, 1B3010113
    Alfredo Amezaga, PR0000000
Miguel Olivo, C4011014
Joe Borchard, RF4010104
Reggie Abercrombie, CF2010000
   a- Jeremy Hermida, PH-CF1000003
Josh Johnson, P2000110
   b- Mike Jacobs, PH1000003
    Randy Messenger, P0000000
    Taylor Tankersley, P0000000
    Logan Kensing, P0000000
a-popped out for Abercrombie in the 7th
b-fouled out for Johnson in the 7th
2B - Reggie Abercrombie (, Lester)
HR - Hanley Ramirez (, Lester), Miguel Cabrera (, Tavarez)
SH - Wes Helms (), Miguel Olivo ()
RBI - Hanley Ramirez (), Miguel Cabrera (), Miguel Olivo ()
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Olivo ()
PK - Reggie Abercrombie (, Lester)
Team LOB - 13
DP - Uggla-H. Ramirez-Helms, Uggla-H. Ramirez-Helms
E - Dan Uggla (, Misplayed grounder)
Florida Marlins
Josh Johnson 7433453
Randy Messenger (L,-) 0.2110000
Taylor Tankersley 0.1000000
Logan Kensing 1000000
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Johnson 112-58, Randy Messenger 10-8, Taylor Tankersley 7-4, Logan Kensing 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Johnson 4-8, Randy Messenger 1-2, Logan Kensing 2-1
Batters Faced - Josh Johnson 25, Randy Messenger 4, Taylor Tankersley 1, Logan Kensing 3
Game Information
Attendance - 22840
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Jim Wolf