EditorsNote: Adds team records, details on Marlins in standings in Graf 3
Catcher Jorge Alfaro slugged a pair of two-run homers, leading the host Miami Marlins to an 8-4 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.
Alfaro was removed from the game in the seventh inning after a foul ball hit his mask.
Garrett Cooper also hit a two-run homer for the surprising Marlins (25-22), who are in second place and 2 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East -- one year removed from losing 105 games.
Alex Verdugo led Boston (18-32), going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, one double and one walk. Designated hitter J.D. Martinez, a Miami native, added a home run and three RBIs. But it wasn't enough as Boston's two-game win streak was snapped.
Both teams rested their standout center fielders -- Jackie Bradley Jr. for Boston and Starling Marte of Miami.
Reliever Yimi Garcia (2-0) earned the win, striking out two during one scoreless inning. Marlins rookie left-hander Trevor Rogers started and allowed just one run, but he was removed due a high pitch count -- 76 in three innings.
Mike Kickham (1-1), a 31-year-old making just his fifth career start, took the loss, allowing seven hits and six runs in 2 2/3 innings.
Miami opened the scoring in the first inning as Jesus Aguilar singled, and Cooper homered on a drive that traveled 404 feet to center.
Boston cut its deficit to 2-1 in the third. Verdugo singled to center, and Rafael Devers was hit on his right forearm, both win no outs. After a Xander Bogaerts groundout, Martinez hit a sacrifice fly.
Miami stretched its lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the third. Miguel Rojas doubled, Brian Anderson stroked an RBI single, Lewis Brinson yanked an RBI double over third base, and Alfaro slugged his first homer 423 feet to right center.
Boston cut its deficit to 6-2 in the fifth as Verdugo drove a ground-rule double to center, and Devers pulled an RBI two-bagger down the right-field line.
Alfaro slugged his second homer in the fifth, pouncing on a 0-1 slider from reliever Robinson Leyer. That blast -- which followed a Cooper walk -- traveled 412 feet to center.
Boston cut its deficit to 8-4 in the seventh. Bogaerts legged out an infield single, and Martinez followed with his 372-foot homer to right, but the Red Sox were shut down the rest of the way.
--Field Level Media