Red Sox-Marlins Preview
Perhaps the open roof gave the Miami Marlins the edge they
needed to end their worst home losing streak of the year.
There’s plenty of evidence showing that giving the ball to Mark
Buehrle in interleague play is a good way to win a game.
Buehrle looks to match a major league record by winning an 11th
straight interleague decision Tuesday night when Miami tries to
hand the Boston Red Sox a season high-tying fifth consecutive
With the Marlins (32-29) starting their homestand 0-6 before
this series, team management decided to take advantage of favorable
weather conditions Monday night and open the retractable roof at
new Marlins Park for the first time since April 18. Miami responded
with a 4-1 victory to improve to 3-2 when the roof is open.
“It helped a little, because there was a little different feel
in the ballpark,” said closer Heath Bell, who converted his 10th
straight save opportunity. “You could feel it a little more
electric. I think the fans really liked it.”
With Buehrle (5-6, 3.49 ERA) taking the ball, the Marlins may
not need to turn to a gimmick or a “slump buster,” as team
president David Samson called Monday’s open-roof experiment.
The veteran left-hander is the all-time leader with 24
interleague wins and is 10-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last 15 starts
against the opposite league. If Buehrle wins Tuesday, he’ll tie
Kenny Rogers’ record of 11 consecutive interleague victories.
Of course, he’ll be facing the AL after all of the previous wins
came with the Chicago White Sox against NL foes.
Buehrle is 6-6 with a 4.46 ERA in 16 starts versus Boston, but
the Marlins southpaw will face a Red Sox team that has struck out
41 times and is batting .198 with 10 total runs during its
“I don’t think they’re pressing,” said manager Bobby Valentine,
whose team has dropped seven of eight and is last in the AL East.
“They’re trying very hard against real good pitchers.”
Boston (29-32) is hoping for another good start from Clay
Buchholz (6-2, 5.77) after he pitched a four-hitter in Thursday’s
7-0 victory over Baltimore. The right-hander has allowed two runs
or fewer in each of his last three starts after recording a 7.84
ERA in his first nine outings of 2012.
“The only adjustment was the grip (on the changeup). I think my
grip was a little off,” Buchholz told the Red Sox’s official
website after his third career shutout. “I’ve been able to free
that up a little bit.”
Buchholz, who is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA in three career interleague
starts, will face the Marlins for the first time.
Miami is batting .199 with 14 runs in the first seven games of
its homestand, but the club went 2 for 3 with runners in scoring
position Monday after going 5 for 50 in those situations in the
previous six contests.
“Lately we weren’t able to get the big hit, but today we were
able to do that early in the game,” shortstop Jose Reyes said.
It’s uncertain if second baseman Omar Infante will return to
Miami’s lineup Tuesday after rookie Donovan Solano went 1 for 3
with two RBIs in the series opener. Solano is batting .455 (10 for
22) since being called up May 20.
Red Sox rookie Will Middlebrooks could start at third base
Tuesday after Kevin Youkilis got the nod Monday.
There’s a good chance David Ortiz will make a second straight
start at first base for Boston. The usual DH is a .345 hitter (20
for 58) against Buehrle with two homers and eight doubles.