Xander Bogaerts' clutch two-out single in the seventh inning led the Red Sox over the Marlins. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts' clutch bases-clearing single leads Red Sox over Marlins

Ryan Hannable
July 07, 2015 - 5:55 pm
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Facing arguably the five biggest games of the season leading into the All-Star break, the Red Sox kicked those games off in style. Trailing 3-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Red Sox scored three times to take a 4-3 lead and held on for the win over the Marlins in the first game of a two-game series. It was their third straight win and they now have won eight of their last 11. Stepping to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh against odd-throwing reliever Carter Capps, Xander Bogaerts fouled off multiple pitches and worked a full count before lining a single to right center field, which scored all three runners who were off with the pitch for what proved to be the game-winning hit. Per Elias Sports, it was the first three-run single by a Red Sox hitter since Gary Allenson in 1982. Bogaerts came into the at-bat the Red Sox' best hitter with runners in scoring position, hitting .379, the fourth-best mark in the American League. The runs were unearned as Mookie Betts was able to reach on an error earlier in the frame. "Right man, right spot," manager John Farrell said afterward. "Against a power arm with a very unorthodox delivery, who has been dominant in his time in the big leagues here with them. But, to put up an eight-pitch at-bat like he did, fought off a number of fastballs. The key to me in that spot was we get to a 3-2 count and Mookie has a chance to be on the move. That's why we're able to score three runs on a base hit. Like I said, right man, right spot for Xander." Junichi Tazawa threw 1 1/3 perfect innings and Koji Uehara came on for a perfect ninth to earn the save. With the game tied at one going into the seventh inning, Red Sox starter Wade Miley was sent back out after throwing 98 pitches through six. The decision didn't pay off as the Marlins tagged Miley for two runs in the inning, the first on a single by Cole Gillespie after J.T. Realmuto led off with a double and then Christian Yelich came through with a two-out, RBI double over the head of Mookie Betts in center. Miley went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, while walking two and striking out nine. The nine strikeouts were a season-high, a night where the left-hander had very good stuff. "I was just getting ahead of guys for the most part," Miley said. "Had pretty good fastball command on both sides of the plate. My breaking ball was good when I needed it and it was a good win." The Red Sox scored their first run in the second inning on a Ryan Hanigan single to right center, scoring Shane Victorino. Victorino had led the inning off with a single. Here is what went right and wrong in the Red Sox' win: WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Bogaerts finished the game 2-for-4 and is now in the midst of a six-game hit streak where he's batting .462. -- Fresh off being named an American League All-Star, Brock Holt extended his hit streak to seven games with his single in the third inning. In those seven games he's batting .323. -- Shaw recorded his first major league hit with his single win the second inning. He finished the game 3-for-4. WHAT WENT WRONG -- David Ortiz went 0-for-2 with two walks. He's now in the midst of a mini 0-for-8 skid. -- Hanley Ramirez was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. -- Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. The No. 4-6 hitters went a combined 0-for-10 with five strikeouts.

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