BOSTON – There are times when a manager just has to tip his cap to the other team.
Even when HIS team is in a dreadful slump.
"When the Big Papi and all those guys come up with people on base, you're going to get hurt,” Miami manager Ozzie Guillen said after David "Big Papi" Ortiz’s grand slam highlighted a 16-hit attack that paced the Red Sox to a 15-5 blowout at steamy Fenway Park Wednesday night. "You have to pitch nine innings to all nine hitters. They've got a good hitting lineup."
By winning their fourth in a row and registering a season-high scoring output, the Red Sox climbed out of last place in the American League East. Mike Aviles, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Will Middlebrooks also homered and lefty Felix Doubront worked six innings to beat the Marlins for the second time in eight days to go to 8-3 on the season.
Miami has lost 12 of its last 14, but the Red Sox are going in the opposite direction. They can go to three games over .500 for just the second time this season if Daisuke Matsuzaka can beat Miami and Carlos Zambrano Thursday night.
Wednesday night’s game started in 96-degree heat.
"The heat was unbelievable out there today," Ortiz said. "I like the heat, to play, but it takes something away from you. It gets you tired. But we did good today, on a hot day."
Last week in Miami, the Marlins beat the Red Sox in the first of six inter-league games to be played between the teams in 11 days. The Sox have won the four games since, and scored 22 runs in the last three. Ortiz has homered in all three, driving in nine runs.
Hitting his third homer in as many games (he homered in Chicago Sunday night and has 19 on the season), Ortiz drilled his slam off reliever Chris Hatcher in a six-run fourth inning. One inning earlier, after being intentionally walked to load the bases and hardly known for his speed, Ortiz came around from first on Cody Ross’ off-the-wall double. That hit came after Aviles hit a three-run homer, his ninth home run of the year, to wipe out a 2-0 Miami lead against loser Ricky Nolasco (6-6).
Ortiz is 9-for-20 with four homers and 11 RBIs during a six-game hitting streak. He’s batting .313 with 49 RBIs.
"He’s the guy," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of Ortiz. "Obviously if we were in first place, he’d be the guy that everybody would be talking about because he’s been so consistently excellent the entire year.
"It’s hard to be excellent and it’s hard to have a consistency about you (for) 60-plus games, but day in and day out he’s brought it."
Doubront, winning for the fourth time in his last five starts, struggled some but showed enough grittiness to get by.
"He’s just a great kid and he’s doing a great job," said Saltalamacchia, his catcher, who hit his 13th homer of the year two batters after Ortiz connected.
Daniel Nava, who missed eight straight starts with a sore hand, went 4-for-5 in his return to the lineup.
"Ho-hum," Valentine said with a smile. "He’s well-rested, you know? He’s a very good player; he’s playing very well"
Logan Morrison, who drove in all five Miami runs Tuesday night, hit his second homer in as many nights, his third against the Red Sox, and John Buck also connected for Miami. Omar Infante, 3-for-30 in the last seven games coming in, had three hits.
Buck appeared injured getting out of the batters box in the seventh. He stayed in the game but left for a pinch hitter during his ninth-inning at-bat, Guillen saying he cramped up on the hot night.
For the Marlins, the game has to be filed away as they take another shot at turning things around Thursday night.
"We just have to come out of it and get wins," Morrison said. "I come to the park thinking we're going to win. I hope everybody else is thinking like that or you better turn in your uniform."
And how does Guillen forget what happened Wednesday?
"Seven Presidents (El Presidente beers) and a sleeping pill and be ready for a shot tomorrow," he said.
NOTES: Nolasco was 4-1 on the road in 2012 coming in. … Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who left Tuesday night’s game after re-aggravating his right thumb injury, was held out but wanted to play, Valentine saying Pedroia suffered “more a scare” than serious re-injury. “Dustin, in true Dustin fashion, said he didn’t want to let his teammates down and wanted to play tonight but [we’re] going to give it a day to make sure that it settles in and just make sure we know what we’re dealing with, Valentine said.” … Guillen, pre-game, on his slumping lineup: "I'm going to stick with the guys. I'm going to believe in them. I'm going to make the same lineup if I can to make sure they know I'm behind them. We know we're not performing. It's not a secret for anybody on this ballclub. I think everybody that wears this uniform knows we're not performing." … Shortstop Deven Marrero, the Sox’ first pick (24th overall) in the recent draft, signed and worked out before the game. … Temperatures are supposed to remain in the 90s for Thursday night’s series finale.
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