BOSTON — On the hottest day of the year in Boston, David Ortiz led the Red Sox to their biggest offensive attack of the season.
Ortiz continued his torrid hitting with a grand slam for one of their four homers as they set a season high in runs, beating the Miami Marlins 15-5 on Wednesday night.
The Red Sox pounded out 16 hits and won their fourth straight game and sixth in their last seven on a night when the game-time temperature was 95 degrees.
“The weather warmed up a little. Guys felt loose,” Boston manager Bobby Valentine said.
Ortiz hit his 18th homer of the season, his third in three games and fourth in six, a span in which he is 9 for 20. The grand slam in a six-run fourth inning was the 11th of his career.
“I don’t get many opportunities (with pitches) over the plate,” he said. “I just try to be patient for that one pitch they give me to hit.”
The Red Sox moved out of last place in the AL East at 35-33, passing Toronto after the Blue Jays lost 8-3 to Milwaukee.
Mike Aviles, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Will Middlebrooks also homered one night after Ortiz hit one of Boston’s three homers in a 7-5 victory over Miami.
“Hitting is definitely contagious and so is winning,” Aviles said. “Any time you get a couple of wins together you just get that good confidence going and you just keep rolling with it and that’s where we’re at right now.”
The Marlins lost for the 12th time in 14 games despite getting four runs and nine hits in six innings against Felix Doubront (8-3).
Ricky Nolasco (6-6) gave up nine runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings.
“I just think we’re all trying to get on a positive run right now,” he said. “It’s just not happening. The last two games we swung the bats well. We just haven’t pitched (well).”
The Red Sox offense has come alive in the past week with at least seven runs in four of their last six games.
On Wednesday, Aviles’s three-run homer gave Boston a 3-2 lead in the second. In the third, Cody Ross’ three-run double, on which Ortiz hustled home where the throw hit him and bounced away from catcher John Buck, made it 6-2.
“Guys are just getting on base left and right,” Ross said. “We’re coming up with big hits. Red Sox baseball.”
Before the game, Miami manager Ozzie Guillen said he wouldn’t change his lineup to help stop the slide. His offense has been better, scoring five runs in each game of the series after going 12 straight with four runs or less. But even when the Marlins scored, it wasn’t always easy.
Buck hit his fifth homer, a solo shot that made it 13-5 in the seventh, but immediately clutched his right hamstring and trotted slowly around the bases. He remained in the game before leaving for a pinch hitter in the ninth.
For the second straight game, the Marlins led 2-0. They scored in the first on singles by Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez and a double-play grounder by Giancarlo Stanton. They added a run in the second on a double by Justin Ruggiano, a single by Omar Infante and a groundout by Gaby Sanchez.
But the Red Sox quickly jumped ahead by four runs after three innings.
“This is the type of game that can get you down and wonder what’s going on,” Guillen said. “The starting pitchers have not been doing their job of late.”
The Marlins cut the lead to 6-4 in the fourth on a solo homer by Logan Morrison, who drove in all five runs on Tuesday, and a run-scoring groundout by Sanchez.
Boston drove Nolasco from the game in the fourth when singles by Aviles, Daniel Nava — who had four — and Ryan Kalish produced one run. After a single by Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases, Ortiz hit his grand slam off Chris Hatcher. Saltalamacchia’s 13th homer finished the inning.
Ortiz came up with the bases loaded again in the fifth, but Hatcher threw a wild pitch that allowed Nick Punto to score Boston’s 13th run.
Middlebrooks hit his seventh homer, a two-run shot in the eighth.
NOTES: Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia missed the game as a precaution after feeling discomfort in his right hand on his last at bat in Tuesday night’s win. … Nolasco lost his third consecutive start and fourth in his last five. … In Thursday night’s series finale, Carlos Zambrano (4-5) is set to pitch for Miami against Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-2). … The Red Sox signed SS Deven Marrero, their first-round pick and 24th overall in the amateur draft. He hit .325 in three seasons at Arizona State. He will be assigned to Single-A Lowell. … Nava’s four hits matched a career high set on June 1. … Ortiz tied Joe Carter for 52nd place with 396 homers.
BRAVES 10, YANKEES 5: Jason Heyward hit two of a record nine homers at the new Yankee Stadium and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Yankees 10-5 in the sweltering heat Wednesday.
Freddie Freeman, Martin Prado, Heyward and David Ross all connected off Phil Hughes (7-6) to build a 6-1 lead on a sticky, 94-degree afternoon.
Michael Bourn stole what might’ve been another home run from Jayson Nix after missing an earlier opportunity for a try at a leaping grab.
Alex Rodriguez hit his 640th career homer, and Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Eric Chavez all hit long balls against Tommy Hanson (8-4). The Yankees managed little else in their second straight loss after a 10-game winning streak.
The Yankees got within a run at 6-5 on Curtis Granderson’s RBI single in the seventh but Rodriguez ended the inning with a double-play grounder.
In the eighth, Freeman hit an RBI single and Heyward a two-run shot off Boone Logan to help Atlanta pull away for its third win in 10 games and second straight against New York. The Yankees swept the Braves in Atlanta last week.
BREWERS 8, BLUE JAYS 3: Yovani Gallardo pitched into the seventh inning and Ryan Braun hit one of Milwaukee’s four homers in a win over Toronto.
Gallardo (6-5) went 6 2-3 innings, giving up three runs and seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Gallardo’s outing provided some much-needed rest for an overworked bullpen.
Emergency starter Joel Carreno (0-2) gave up a pair of two-run homers to Martin Maldonado and Carlos Gomez, and a solo shot to Corey Hart in a five-run second. Carreno gave up five runs on five hits in three innings.
ROYALS 2, ASTROS 1: Bruce Chen pitched into the sixth inning on three days’ rest and Brayan Pena drove in a run to help Kansas City beat Houston.
Alex Gordon tripled and scored for the Royals, who won the last two games of the three-game set. Thirteen of Kansas City’s last 14 games have been decided by two or fewer runs.
Chen (6-6) struck out six in 5 2-3 innings and was charged with one run and five hits.
Houston starter Jordan Lyles (1-4) gave up two runs and three hits in seven innings. The Astros went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
Jonathan Broxton earned his 18th save in 21 chances.
DIAMONDBACKS 14, MARINERS 10: Ryan Roberts hit an inside-the-park home run, Justin Upton added a three-run shot and Arizona tied a franchise record with six homers during a wild win over Seattle.
Miguel Montero hit a two-run homer, Aaron Hill connected for the third straight game, and Jason Kubel and John McDonald each had a solo shot to match the team record set twice before. Montero had four RBIs.
Arizona roughed up Jason Vargas (7-7) early in the game and batted around in the fifth inning on its way to 16 hits.
The Mariners scored five runs against Trevor Cahill (6-5) in the third inning.
TWINS 2, PIRATES 1: Josh Willingham hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning for Minnesota.
Willingham hit a fastball from Jason Grilli (1-2) over the wall in left for his 14th homer, breaking a tie as the Twins won for just the second time in their last seven games. Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his first save in place of injured closer Matt Capps.
Jared Burton (1-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Francisco Liriano, who pitched arguably his best game of the season, giving up one run and four hits in 6 2-3 innings. The left-hander struck out six and walked two.
Pittsburgh’s Erik Bedard overcame a shaky start to surrender one run over six innings but was long gone by the time Willingham notched the first homer given up by Grilli since April 17.
RANGERS 4, PADRES 2: Yu Darvish allowed five hits over eight innings and got his first major league hit to help Texas to its sixth straight win.
Darvish (9-4), who struck out eight and walked three, leads all big league rookies with nine victories.
Yorvit Torrealba drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the sixth to bring in Josh Hamilton with the go-ahead run. The Rangers swept the three-game series and improved to 12-3 in interleague play, the best in the majors this year.
The Padres (24-46) have lost five of six and have the worst record in the majors.
Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances.
Padres starter Anthony Bass left with inflammation in his right shoulder after allowing one run and three hits in five innings.
INDIANS 8, REDS 1: Justin Masterson pitched a three-hitter for his first complete game this season and AL Central-leading Cleveland finished a three-game sweep of Cincinnati.
Masterson (4-6) took a shutout into the eighth before the Reds ended the right-hander’s streak of consecutive scoreless innings at 18. He did not walk a batter and struck out nine, including the side in the ninth, for his fourth career complete game. Cincinnati’s run was unearned.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a three-run homer and Johnny Damon hit a two-run shot in the fifth inning off Bronson Arroyo (3-5). Lonnie Chisenhall added three RBIs for Cleveland.
After losing three straight in Cincinnati last week, the Indians returned the favor on the Reds, who entered the series on a six-game winning streak.
CARDINALS 3, TIGERS 1: Jake Westbrook pitched his first complete game in over two years, giving up only an unearned run in the Cardinals’ victory over the Tigers.
Westbrook (6-6) allowed five hits, struck out five and walked one. It was his 14th career complete game, but his first since May 16, 2010, when he was pitching for Cleveland at Baltimore.
The Cardinals took the lead in the sixth when Yadier Molina hit into a bases-loaded double play, breaking a 1-all tie. The Cardinals added an eighth-inning run on an error by Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta.
Rick Porcello (4-5) allowed two runs and 10 hits in seven innings.
NATIONALS 3, RAYS 2: Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 to win a fast-ballers’ duel with newbie Chris Archer, Joel Peralta managed to pitch without having his glove inspected, and the Nationals snapped a four-game losing streak with a win over the Rays.
Strasburg (9-1) won his sixth consecutive start by allowing five hits and two runs over seven innings while throwing 111 pitches, the second most in his career, while Tyler Clippard picked up his 10th save. The Nationals needed all the pitching they could get — because the lineup didn’t produce a hit after the first inning.
Strasburg was just a bit better than Archer (0-1), who faced the minimum over his final five innings after surviving a rough start in his major league debut.
PHILLIES 7, ROCKIES 6: Todd Helton missed tagging first base to allow the winning run to score on Placido Polanco’s grounder in the ninth inning and the Phillies rallied to beat the Rockies.
After Dexter Fowler hit a tiebreaking RBI single off Jonathan Papelbon (1-2) with two outs in the ninth, the Phillies got a clutch, two-out hit of their own in the bottom half.
Rafael Betancourt (1-3) retired the first two batters before Ty Wigginton singled. Pence doubled off the wall in left to score Wigginton.
Carlos Ruiz was intentionally walked and Shane Victorino hustled out an infield single. Polanco hit a grounder to shortstop Marco Scutaro whose throw to first was a bit high, but Helton caught it and had time to beat a hustling Polanco. He stretched for first and missed. Helton, a multiple Gold Glove Award winner, was charged with his second error of the season.
METS 4, ORIOLES 3: Dillon Gee extended the Mets’ shutout streak to 29 innings before Baltimore broke through late, and New York held off the Orioles for a three-game sweep.
The Mets nearly shut out the Orioles for the third straight day. Wilson Betemit hit a two-run homer in the eighth and Steve Pearce drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth before Brian Roberts grounded out to end it.
Gee (5-5) had been nicked only by pitcher Brian Matusz’s single — his first big league hit — until Nick Johnson opened the eighth with an infield single and Betemit followed with a second-deck home run.
Frank Francisco escaped a jam in the ninth for his 17th save in 20 chances, completing the combined six-hitter.
Matusz (5-8) struggled again in interleague play, dropping to 0-7 in AL vs. NL matchups.