BOSTON -- For the second consecutive game, the Red Sox refused to lay down to the Marlins, but this time they mustered the mother of all rallies to sweep their two-game set against Miami with a thrilling 14-6 comeback victory on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.With the win, Boston improved
BOSTON -- For the second consecutive game, the Red Sox refused to lay down to the Marlins, but this time they mustered the mother of all rallies to sweep their two-game set against Miami with a thrilling 14-6 comeback victory on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
With the win, Boston improved to an American League-best 92-42 and moved 7 1/2 games ahead of the Yankees, who lost to the White Sox, in the AL East.
Entering its seventh-inning at-bats trailing 5-3, Boston had just three hits. But before the Marlins could get two outs in the frame, the Red Sox had pounded out season highs for hits (12) and runs (11) by sending 15 batters to the plate. It was Boston's biggest offensive output in an inning since June 27, 2003, when the club dropped 14 runs on 13 hits in the bottom of the first inning, also against the Marlins.
Eduardo Nunez, who hit a solo home run in the second, led off the frame with a single that was followed by the 400th double of Ian Kinsler's career.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora then chose to pinch-hit Blake Swihart for catcher Sandy Leon, and after the Marlins brought in reliever Adam Conley to turn the switch-hitter to the right side, Swihart sliced a single into left field to score Nunez.
Jackie Bradley Jr. ripped a double off the Green Monster in center to bring the Sox even, and Mookie Betts went to the opposite field with the go-ahead, two-run double.
"We were talking about Nunez; he's swinging the bat well," Cora said. "Then Ian put a good swing and hit the ball off the wall. I decided to go with Blake in that situation. He gets a hanging changeup, he puts a good swing on it. Then Jackie, he misses a slider and then stays on it. From then on, it was good at-bat after good at-bat. It was fun to watch. That inning, we didn't hit the ball out of the ballpark, but we run the bases well."
With one out, Cora again went to his bench -- this time bringing up Brock Holt in place of Steve Pearce -- and again the results were big as the pinch-hitter lined one over first base and into the cavernous right-field corner for an RBI triple.
"Hitting is contagious," Holt said. "You see your teammates go out there and put together good at-bats, put you in better spots at the plate, it's contagious. That inning showed it."
Three straight one-out singles from Xander Bogaerts, Nunez and Kinsler plated three more runs. Swihart pushed two more across with a double to right, and Bradley singled in yet another to cap the scoring in the inning.
"Everyone was just enjoying it," said Betts, who finished a triple shy of the cycle. "It's one of those things when you're passing it back, having fun playing the game."
Andrew Benintendi, who made the first out of the inning on a sacrifice bunt, grounded into an inning-ending 6-3 double play, but when the dust had settled, Boston had a 14-5 lead.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Though Nunez collected two singles in the big seventh, it was his first at-bat of the game that helped Boston stay on track after going down 1-0 early. The Boston third baseman battled relentlessly through a 12-pitch at-bat, fouling off seven of those before launching a solo home run off rookie Trevor Richards in the second inning. Nunez went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Already taxed by injuries to their pitching staff, the Red Sox got another scare in that department when David Price was forced to exit after only three innings. Marlins left fielder Austin Dean launched a rocket back at the Red Sox left-hander, who in protecting his face from the blast, took the shot off of the inside of his left wrist. The ball bounced over to first baseman Pearce, who flipped to the covering Price for the final out of the inning. Statcast™ registered the exit velocity of the ball at 102.6 mph. Initial X-rays on Price's wrist were negative, the team announced.
"I think it will be alright," Price said. "I've been hit a couple times this year. I think I'll be OK. I knew it hit me flush and it caught bone. I knew it was hit hard. I knew it went to my left, so I wanted to get that out." More >
This marked the Red Sox's seventh win of the season and second in a row in which they were trailing after the sixth inning.
"The last two games have been very big for us," Price said. "It's not the way we wanted to win these two games, but I think it was good for us to come out and get behind and to come back late in the game yesterday, and to come back today the way that we did."
HE SAID IT
"I'm hitting Monday. I'll be ready."
-- Price, on making his next start, which is scheduled for Monday in Atlanta
The Red Sox head out on their penultimate road trip of the regular season, starting with four games with the White Sox. Rick Porcello gets the nod in Thursday's 8:10 p.m. ET series opener looking to snap his personal two-game losing streak. Over his last four starts, the right-hander is 1-3 with a 6.26 ERA, though he has struck out 29 batters over 23 innings in that stretch. Chicago counters with Lucas Giolito.
Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston.