Another solid start for Red Sox as Johnson beats Marlins

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Another solid start for Red Sox as Johnson beats Marlins
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Brian Johnson towels off in the fourth inning during a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Monday, April 2, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI (AP) — Brian Johnson gave the Boston Red Sox their fifth solid start in five games, allowing one run in six innings in a 7-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Monday night.

All five Boston starters have allowed less than two runs, a franchise first to begin a season.

Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts each hit his first home run of the season for the Red Sox, who doubled their season total. They scored 10 runs in their first four games but are 4-1 because they have allowed only 12 runs.

Johnson (1-0) gave up rookie Brian Anderson’s first career homer but stranded six runners. The Red Sox improved to 6-0 in Johnson’s starts over the past two seasons.

Boston starters have allowed three earned runs in 30 innings with 28 strikeouts.

The Marlins could have used some help from their owners’ box, where CEO Derek Jeter watched his new team struggle against his old rivals. Joining him as spectators were former Yankees teammate Jorge Posada and ex-Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.

Trevor Richards (0-1), the Marlins’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2017, retired the first seven batters in his major league debut but then allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings.

A two-out swinging bunt single by Xander Bogaerts sparked the Red Sox in the fourth. Eduardo Nunez followed with an RBI double, and Christian Vazquez hit a two-run double.

Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the fifth. As he approached first base, he pointed at the large throng of cheering Red Sox fans behind their dugout.

Rafael Devers doubled home a run in the ninth and has at least one RBI in each of his four games.

The Marlins’ Starlin Castro had three hits and his 500th career RBI.

SPECIAL GREETING

The Marlins gave Anderson the silent treatment when he returned to the dugout after his homer. He walked along the bench doing phantom high-fives, and eventually his teammates mobbed him.

NICE NIGHT

While many teams deal with bad weather in the season’s first week, the Marlins had their retractable roof open for the fifth consecutive game, and the temperature was 76 degrees.

HOMECOMING

The trip to Miami stirred memories for Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who played for the Miami Hurricanes when their football team was a powerhouse. Among the players he knew were Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis and Dwayne Johnson.

“I played PlayStation with the Rock my freshman year,” Cora said with a laugh. “We went to his room and played, and all of a sudden 10 years later he’s a superstar. I don’t think he knows who I am.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: C J.T. Realmuto (bruised back) began catching drills but is expected to be sidelined a few more weeks.

UP NEXT

LHP Chris Sale (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Red Sox in the series finale Tuesday night against RHP Jose Urena (0-1, 11.25 ERA). Sale allowed one hit in six innings on opening day but is the lone Boston starter without a win.

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