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Jul 4, 2024 4:34 am

With Masataka Yoshida heating up, Red Sox seek sweep vs. Marlins

Masataka Yoshida

Three weeks since returning from injury, Boston Red Sox designated hitter Masataka Yoshida is starting to get back into a groove.

Yoshida is 5-for-9 with three RBIs through the first two games of Boston’s series against the Miami Marlins. On Wednesday, his groundout drove in the eventual winning run in a 7-2 victory.

Boston eyes the sweep in the finale on Thursday.

“Overall, I’ve been able to see the ball well and identify (location) and swing at pitches I can hit,” Yoshida said via a translator. “Obviously take one game at a time. I want to be part of a team that keeps winning. It’s all about keeping it simple. If it’s an outside pitch, go the opposite way, just stay with it. That’s the approach.”

The 30-year-old is 11-for-25 since June 24, which has boosted his OPS from .617 to .691. Though he’s hit only seven home runs since the 2023 All-Star break, the Red Sox are pleased with the progress.

“We like the hitter; we like the at-bat,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “I think people get caught up in the (slugging percentage) and not hitting the ball in the air. But this guy is a quote-unquote professional hitter, right? We know that he can hit. I think he’s getting his rhythm back and that’s very important.”

Boston has received quality starts in the first two games of the series and will be hoping for more when righty Nick Pivetta (4-5, 4.52 ERA) takes to the mound Thursday. Pivetta is 2-5 with a 5.23 ERA in 13 career appearances (nine starts) against the Marlins.

The Marlins, meanwhile, will be looking to snap a three-game slide in which they’ve been outscored 22-11. They’ve allowed 434 runs, third most in the majors. Only the Colorado Rockies (506) and Chicago White Sox (438) have given up more.

Jesus Sanchez has been Miami’s most effective hitter through the two games, going 4-for-8 while driving in two of the team’s five runs.

After turning to the bullpen only twice in the series opener, the Marlins used five relievers on Wednesday after starter Trevor Rogers went only three innings. Despite a short effort, manager Skip Schumaker wasn’t putting the loss on Rogers.

“I actually thought it was maybe his best stuff of the year,” Schumaker said. “Unfortunately, the line definitely doesn’t show that. But there’s a lot to like about what’s been going on with Trevor the last few weeks.”

Miami will turn to righty Kyle Tyler (0-1, 3.38 ERA) as they try to salvage the series finale. With an injury-depleted rotation, Tyler, who will be facing the Red Sox for the first time in his career, moved into a starting role late last month. He’s tossed 146 pitches over 8 2/3 innings in two outings as a starter, allowing three runs on seven hits, walking five and striking out six.

Tyler knows he needs to tighten up on the mound.

“Just being more efficient, limiting the long at-bats,” he said last weekend. “If I can limit that, it’ll give me a much better opportunity to go deeper.”
The Marlins have lost eight of their past 11 series, winning only two while splitting the other.

–Field Level Media

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