By MyFM's Jake Archer - The Red Sox kept on rolling in Miami on Monday night as they bested the Marlins by a score of 7-3 for their fourth straight win. Florida native Brian Johnson continued the run of good starting pitching for Boston while former Marlin and offseason Miami resident, Hanley Ramirez, led the way on offense.
Johnson broke camp with the big league club after having success last year in a few starts and enjoying a nice spring training. His night in Miami got off to a bit of a rough start when he allowed a solo-homer by Brian Anderson to lead off the second inning. I wasn't sure if this would be a sign of things to come, or just one hiccup in a great start. I'm happy to say that it was the latter.
On the mound for Miami was Trevor Richards. The 24-year-old righty got into the fourth inning before the Sox offense touched him up. After getting the first two outs, Richards allowed a soft single off the bat of Xander Bogaerts. The next batter, Eduardo Nunez, doubled home the run to tie the game. Jackie Bradley Jr. drew a walk to keep the inning going and Christian Vazquez doubled to drive in both runners and make it 3-1 Boston.
In the fifth, Richards faced more trouble after getting the first out. Andrew Benintendi tapped an infield single and then Hanley Ramirez unloaded on a two-run bomb to make it 5-1. Hanley was traded to Miami from Boston back when he was just a young prospect. He made his name as a Marlin while making All Star teams and winning a batting title. You could tell he was right at home down there and the homerun was his first of the young season. Richards allowed a single to Rafael Devers after the Ramirez shot and then was pulled from the game by Don Mattingly. The final line for the young starter was four and a third innings pitched, five runs on eight hits, one walk and five punchouts.
On the other end, Johnson was avoiding trouble and finishing up six strong innings. Once he was done he had only given up the one run on six hits, two walks and five Ks. Boston grabbed another run in the seventh when Mookie Betts hit his first homerun of the year. The line drive over the wall made it 6-1.
In the eighth, Marcus Walden came on in relief for the Sox. He gave up a double to Starlin Castro and then hit Anderson with a pitch. After getting Justin Bour to strike out swinging, Walden allowed Cameron Maybin to smack an RBI single to center. The Sox got that run back in the top of the ninth off of Jacob Turner when Hanley Ramirez singled and swiped a bag with two outs and Rafael Devers drove him in with a double.
Miami took that run back again in the bottom of the ninth off of Walden but couldn't muster anything else. After Tomas Telis walked and Lewis Brinson singled, Walden unleashed a wild-pitch to put both runners in scoring position. Walden got an out but then gave up an RBI groundout to Starlin Castro to make it 7-3. The last out was recorded and the Sox moved to 4-1 on the season which is still good for first place in the AL East. Johnson got the win for Boston while Richards took the loss.
The teams will meet back up again tomorrow night at 6:10 p.m. to close the two-game set. Boston will send Chris Sale back to the hill and the Marlins will counter with Jose Urena.