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posted: 6/21/2012 10:52 PM

Nava's single caps rally, Red Sox top Marlins 6-5

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  • Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, right, is congratulated by Jarrod Saltalamacchia (39) after his two-run home run against the Miami Marlins Thursday during the eighth inning at Fenway Park in Boston.

      Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, right, is congratulated by Jarrod Saltalamacchia (39) after his two-run home run against the Miami Marlins Thursday during the eighth inning at Fenway Park in Boston.
    Associated Press

Associated Press

BOSTON -- Daniel Nava singled in the go-ahead run to cap a three-run eighth inning and the surging Boston Red Sox completed a sweep of the stumbling Miami Marlins, 6-5 on Thursday night.

Boston tied the score on a two-run homer by Will Middlebrooks, who drove in four runs. Ryan Kalish then singled, raced to third on a groundout to first and scored on Nava's single up the middle.

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Alfredo Aceves pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save in 21 opportunities. Scott Atchison (2-0) allowed one hit over the seventh and eighth.

The Red Sox won their fifth straight game and the seventh in their last eight as they matched their season-best mark of three games over .500.

The Marlins took a lead in all three games but lost them all as they dropped their fourth straight overall and 13th in their last 15.

Miami went ahead 5-3 with two runs in the sixth. Giancarlo Stanton, in a 2-for-31 slump, hit his first homer in 12 games and 15th of the season to make it 4-3. That ended Daisuke Matsuzaka's streak of 14 consecutive outs and brought in lefty Andrew Miller.

He retired the next batter before giving up a single to Greg Dobbs and a run-scoring double to Omar Infante.

Jarrod Saltalmacchia started the winning rally in the eighth with a double off Randy Choate. Edward Mujica (0-3) came in and served up Middlebrooks' long, tying shot.

Then Nava, who had six singles in the last two games, lined a clean single to center.

In just his third start of the season since having Tommy John elbow surgery on June 10, 2011, Matsuzaka gave up a leadoff single in the first to Jose Reyes, who went to third on a slow grounder to shortstop Mike Aviles, who got the out at first. Stanton walked and stole second and both runners scored on a single by Dobbs. After Dobbs stole second, he came in on a single by Infante.

Mastsuzaka ended the inning by retiring Scott Cousins on a fly ball to center and didn't allow another runner until Stanton homered.

In his previous start, a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs, he set down 13 of his last 14 batters after allowing three runs.

Carlos Zambrano gave up one hit through three innings before Boston tied the game with two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth.

He hit the first two batters, Cody Ross and Saltalamacchia, in the fourth. Ross scored on a single by Middlebrooks and Saltalamacchia came in on a sacrifice fly by Aviles.

The Red Sox evened the score at 3 on another RBI single by Middlebrooks, driving in Adrian Gonzalez, who led off the fifth with a walk.

NOTES: Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia returned to the lineup after missing one game as a precaution when he felt discomfort in his right hand on his last at-bat in Tuesday night's 7-5 win. ... Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria spoke to his struggling team before the game. ... Miami optioned RHP Chris Hatcher to New Orleans and recalled LHP Mike Dunn from the Triple-A team. ... The Red Sox begin a three-game series at home against the Atlanta Braves on Friday night, sending Jon Lester (4-4) to the mound against Jair Jurrjens (0-2). ... Anibal Sanchez (3-5) is scheduled to pitch Friday night for Miami in the opener of a three-game home series against Toronto, which plans to start Ricky Romero (7-1).

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