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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rain-shortened Game

BOSTON (AP) — Dan Uggla and Ronny Paulino homered in the second inning, and Ricky Nolasco pitched five solid innings Thursday night before the game was called early in the sixth because of rain, giving the Florida Marlins a 2-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Nolasco (3-6) limited Boston to Kevin Youkilis' homer in the first, striking out five for his first victory in five starts since May 8. The only other Red Sox batter to reach was when David Ortiz hit a high popup that third baseman Emilio Bonifacio dropped for an error when he collided with Uggla behind second base.

The Marlins avoided a sweep in the interleague series after being outscored 14-3 in the first two games.

One night after the Red Sox celebrated their 500th consecutive sellout at Fenway Park, rain kept thousands of ticketholders away — though it was still a sellout — and sent many more scurrying for cover when a steady drizzle turned into a downpour. Jon Lester (5-6) had a 2-2 count on Uggla in the sixth when plate umpire Scott Barry called for the tarp at 8:59 p.m.

For those who stuck around, the scoreboard showed the New York Yankees' loss to the Washington Nationals. Then it showed the Baltimore Orioles beating the New York Mets, the Detroit Tigers beating the St. Louis Cardinals and flipped on the West Coast game between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth inning.

The game was officially called after a delay of 2 hours, 26 minutes.

Lester gave up two runs and eight hits, striking out four. In his previous three starts, Lester had struck out 34 while allowing seven hits and three earned runs and limiting opposing batters to an .099 average.

Nolasco has put together three solid starts after opening the season with a 2-6 record and 9.07 ERA in his first nine starts.

NOTES: Youkilis had just two hits and 11 strikeouts in the previous five games. ... A scoring change made by the commissioner's office took a June 10 double away from Dustin Pedroia and instead gave an error to New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher. Chien-Ming Wang was charged with one fewer earned run from the 6-5 Boston victory. ... Red Sox RHP John Smoltz threw two simulated innings in the bullpen as he tries to get ready for next Thursday's start against Washington — his first since April 27, 2008. ... Boston SS Jed Lowrie had four at-bats in an extended spring training game as he tries to come back from wrist surgery.

by the associated press

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