Marlins-Red Sox Preview
Boston Red Sox fans will get a chance to boo a visitor from the Bronx two days earlier than expected.
The Red Sox are in search of a season-high fourth straight win as they face the Miami Marlins' Tom Koehler for the first time Wednesday night when the Bronx-born right-hander seeks to win his fourth straight start.
Boston (40-45) will host the first-place New York Yankees this weekend, trailing their archrivals by five games. The Red Sox are starting to make their move as winners of seven of nine, including their fourth three-game win streak.
''Lately we've been playing really good,'' shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. ''Definitely the momentum, the vibe, everything in the clubhouse has changed. That's what comes with winning.''
Before the Yankees come to Fenway Park, the Red Sox look to sweep this two-game set as they face the emerging Koehler (7-4, 3.52 ERA), who allowed one run in six innings in Friday's 2-1 road win over the Chicago Cubs to lower his ERA to 1.80 in his three-start run.
"That's three straight quality starts by him," manager Dan Jennings told MLB's official website. "He's General Patton. He's blood and guts. He just comes out there and gives it to you every day, all he's got. And he competes. He battles for every time you put him out there. He's fun to watch."
Koehler is 5-1 with a 4.43 ERA in his last seven interleague starts. He has experience against Pablo Sandoval, who is 2 for 6 against him, and Hanley Ramirez, who is 1 for 5.
Red Sox manager John Farrell will start Alejandro De Aza in left field. De Aza is 0 for 5 against Koehler.
Farrell will give the ball to Rick Porcello (4-9, 6.08), who is 0-7 with a 8.18 ERA in his last eight outings and owns the AL's worst ERA. Porcello was charged with seven runs over a season-low two innings in last Wednesday's 11-2 loss at Toronto.
The right-hander yielded three more homers to bring his season total to 16 in 94 2-3 innings - two shy of his 2014 output over 204 2-3 with Detroit.
"When he elevates, he's not getting away with any mistakes," Farrell said.
Porcello has never started versus the Marlins, making two relief appearances against them in 2013. Ichiro Suzuki is 12 for 31 against him.
Boston has won six straight over Miami (35-49) after Tuesday's 4-3 win.
Bogaerts drove in three runs with a bases-loaded single to erase a two-run deficit in the seventh inning. Bogaerts, one of five candidates for the final opening on the AL team, went 2 for 4 to raise his average to .304.
Mike Napoli, baseball's second-worst hitter at .192, did not start for the second straight game. Rookie first baseman Travis Shaw went 3 for 4 for his first big-league hits and Farrell did not say who would start Wednesday.
Christian Yelich had three hits and two RBIs for the Marlins, who have dropped eight straight interleague road games and 10 of their last 12 overall road contests.
First baseman Jeff Baker left after the top of the second inning with what the team described as oblique pain. His status is not known.