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Ortiz fires Bosox past Marlins

David Ortiz hit a home run and a two-run single in a six-run fourth inning as the Boston Red Sox beat the Florida Marlins 8-2 in an interleague game on Tuesday.

Ortiz led off the fourth with a solo home run to right field and drove in two more runs later in the inning with his single to center-field that gave the Red Sox an 8-1 lead.

"Like I told you guys at the beginning, it's all about timing," Ortiz told reporters. "It's working. I was trying to get my timing."

Ortiz, who had earlier been mired in a batting slump that forced him to have his eyes tested, has now hit safely in 10 of the past 13 games, driving in 10 runs and scoring six times.

Ortiz, known as "Big Pappy", who did not homer in the first six weeks of the season, now has five for the year - four of them in the last nine games. His batting average is back up to .210 - still 73 points below his career average.

In other interleague games, it was: Brewers 7, Indians 5; Mets 6, Orioles 4; Blue Jays 8, Phillies 3 (in 10 innings); Yankees 5, Nationals 3; Rangers 6, Astros 1; Royals 5, Diamondbacks 0; Twins 8, Pirates 2; Cardinals 11, Tigers 2; Rays 12, Rockies 4; Mariners 5, Padres 0; Dodgers 5, Athletics 4 (in 10 innings); and Angels 8, Giants 1.

In the only National League game, the Cincinnati Reds beat the Atlanta Braves 7-1.

In Boston, Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield (9-3) earned the win, holding the Marlins to six hits and two runs over six innings. He struck out four and walked one.

The 42-year-old knuckleballer has never been an All-Star but is hoping his performance this season will draw additional votes.

"I've been (a candidate) a couple of times in my caree. Hopefully I'm at least considered for a spot (this year), and if I make it, great. If not, I'll finish up the second half."

Manager Terry Francona said the Red Sox were trying to be more conservative in how long they keep Wakefield, who improved to 6-0 at Fenway Park this season, in the game.

"In the past couple of years, we have gotten toward the end and he's worn down and his shoulder has bothered him. If we can be cognisant of that, we won't get to that point."

The American League East division-leading Red Sox chased Florida starter Chris Volstad (4-7) after he loaded the bases with a walk with two out in the fourth. It was his fourth consecutive loss.

Reliever Burke Badenhop walked in a run, then gave up the two-run single to Ortiz.

Chris Coghlan drove in both of the Marlins' runs with a single in the third and a double in the fifth.

In Cincinnati, Laynce Nix drove in three runs and Brandon Phillips had three hits on a soggy field, helping the Reds overcome a couple of rain delays and end a four-game losing streak.

Nix drove in runs with a groundout and a pair of doubles, the last one during a four-run eighth inning. He also finished with three hits.



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