Sox club Marlins in finale
Boston raps out 14 hits to win series
MIAMI - David Ortiz hit a home run into the nightclub beyond the left-field fence, the ball rolling to the base of a stage where two scantily clad dancers were performing.
Nick Punto had two hits in the same inning as a pinch hitter and Felix Doubront threw 5 2/3 no-hit innings.
But the strangest thing that may have happened to the Red Sox on Wednesday night was finding rapper Lil Wayne standing at the clubhouse door after the game to give everybody a high five.
Just another day at the circus as the Red Sox beat the Miami Marlins, 10-2, Wednesday night.
“That’s how we roll,’’ Ortiz said.
Perhaps Wayne, who is shorter than even Dustin Pedroia, was impressed that the slumping Red Sox amassed 14 hits and scored their most runs since a 12-1 victory against Cleveland May 13.
Or maybe it was seeing Doubront, a 24-year-old lefthander, strike out nine and go 5 2/3 before giving up his first hit.
“We needed that,’’ said Ortiz, who was 2 for 2 with a walk and three RBIs. “Our pitching has been stepping up and we’ve been facing some good pitching the past week. It’s crazy how that works. We’ve been working on that. We’ve been trying.’’
The Sox hit .216 over the previous nine games and scored 27 runs. An offense that has been among the game’s best all season despite a plague of injuries had grown cold.
But against Ricky Nolasco (6-5) and five relievers, the Sox built a 4-0 lead in the sixth inning, then scored six runs in the eighth.
“It was a fun game for a lot of us,’’ shortstop Mike Aviles said.
Doubront (7-3) was coming off his worst start of the season, giving up six runs on eight hits in four innings against the Nationals on Friday. He followed that up with his best.
Doubront went seven innings, his career high, and allowed two runs on three hits. The nine strikeouts matched his most in a game.
“Felix Doubront was outstanding. He had all of his arsenal tonight,’’ Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “He had an explosive fastball. He threw his curveball for strikes early and late. He had a good changeup and a cutter. Boy, that’s good pitching. He was very good.’’
Doubront retired 17 of the first 18 batters he faced, the exception being a walk in the first inning issued to Donovan Solano. The no-hit bid ended when Jose Reyes blasted a fastball well over the fence in left field with two outs in the sixth.
“I was feeling like something was going on. I was just enjoying it,’’ Doubront said. “The first thing I was thinking was to win and do a good job on the mound.’’
Doubront even contributed to the Red Sox’ first run.
Aviles singled to start the third inning and took second when center fielder Justin Ruggiano bobbled the ball. Doubront was next and in his first plate appearance as a professional, successfully executed a sacrifice bunt to push Aviles to third base.
“I was excited to hit,’’ said Doubront, who even hustled to first base.
The bunt paid off as Aviles scored when Scott Podsednik grounded to second base.
The lead grew to 2-0 in the fourth inning when Ortiz hit a fastball on the outside corner over the fence in left field and into the Clevelander nightclub.
“Is that a club out there?’’ Ortiz said. “Let’s go there now then.’’
It was the 15th home run of the season for Ortiz and No. 393 in his career. That ties him with Jim Edmonds for 53d place all time. Next up is Joe Carter with 396.
Adrian Gonzalez (3 for 5, two RBIs) drove in a run with a single and Ortiz had a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.
Doubront, who had not gone beyond 6 1/3 innings, allowed a run in the seventh but left a runner stranded, leaving the Sox with a 4-2 lead.
Then came an inning the Sox have been waiting for. Punto pinch hit for Doubront and doubled. Singles by Podsednik, Pedroia, Gonzalez, and Ortiz followed.
Will Middlebrooks was hit by a pitch and Jarrod Saltalamacchia added a sacrifice fly. Punto had a two-run single when he got up again and the Red Sox had their offense back in shape.
Not since Eric Hinske in 2007 had a Red Sox pinch hitter had two hits in the same inning.
“That was huge for us to have everybody do something,’’ said Pedroia, who was 2 for 5. “It feels good to score some runs like that.’’
The punchless Marlins, who have dropped seven of eight, had a testy moment in the ninth inning when reliever Heath Bell argued with manager Ozzie Guillen on the mound about coming out of the game. They then exchanged words in the dugout.
Over on the happy side of the field, the Sox were getting ready to grab photos with a rapper.
The 31-32 Red Sox took two of three from the Marlins and are off on Thursday before starting a three-game series against Theo Epstein’s Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon.
The Cubs are fighting with the Padres not to be the worst team in baseball.
“Hopefully, we have some momentum now,’’ Ortiz said.