Red Sox aim to extend hitting hot streak vs. Marlins

The Boston Red Sox’s bats are bringing the heat.

The Red Sox are 12-5 since June 12, and they have at least seven runs in nine of those wins. The latest instance came in an 8-3 victory against the host Miami Marlins on Tuesday, and Boston will look to keep it going in the middle contest of the three-game set on Wednesday evening.

Every Boston batter connected for at least one hit in Tuesday’s win. The Red Sox got a three-run homer from Ceddanne Rafaela in the fourth inning and a solo shot from Jarren Duran in the eighth.

Duran’s homer was his 10th of the season and fifth in the past 10 games. With that and a stolen base in the game, he became the first American League player ever with 10 home runs, 10 triples, 20 stolen bases and 100 hits before the All-Star break.

“He’s a very dangerous hitter right now,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.

That applies to several of Duran’s teammates, too. While Connor Wong went only 1-for-5 in the series opener Tuesday, the lone hit brought in a run and extended the catcher’s hitting streak to a career-high 16 games. It is the longest active streak in the majors.

Masataka Yoshida went 3-for-5 with an RBI and has hit safely in five of his past six games.

Rafaela is batting .354 with an .859 on-base-plus-slugging percentage over his past 21 games. It’s a welcome turnaround after he was hitting .202 with a .597 OPS through June 5, and he credits the coaching staff for getting him on track.

“They’re my guys and they’re helping me out,” he told NESN. “They’re telling me what they’re seeing, and I trust them.”

After a solid outing from Kutter Crawford in the opening contest, the Red Sox will turn to Brayan Bello (7-5, 5.55 ERA) on Wednesday. The 25-year-old right-hander has faced Miami once in his career, when he allowed one run on two hits with five strikeouts and one walk in seven innings on June 29, 2023.

Unlike the Red Sox, offense has been much harder to come by for the Marlins, who have 296 runs, the second-lowest total in the majors, this season.

Struggles at the plate factored into Miami designating veteran Tim Anderson for assignment and calling up rookie shortstop Xavier Edwards from Triple-A Jacksonville ahead of Tuesday’s game. Anderson, the Marlins’ only major league free agent acquisition in the offseason, hit .214 with a .226 slugging percentage in 65 games this year.

Edwards, meanwhile, was batting .330 and slugging .450 in the minors this year. In 30 games at the major league level a year ago, he hit .295.

He got the start on Tuesday and went 1-for-4 with a run, giving him a .231 big-league average (3-for-13) in four games this year.

“Get on base, set the table whatever spot I’m in the lineup, a lot of contact, stealing bases and playing solid defense,” he said of his game plan. “Just making the plays. I think I bring in some energy. I don’t speak a whole lot, but I think through my play, I can bring some energy to the team. Hopefully that’ll start something.”

Trevor Rogers (1-8, 4.87 ERA) will be on the mound as Miami aims to level the series. The 26-year-old left-hander has gone at least six innings in each of his past three starts and in four of his past five. He is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two career starts against the Red Sox.

–Field Level Media