MIAMI -- Two and a half months into the season, David Ortiz leads the Red Sox in RBI with 38, which isn't terribly surprising.
But Mike Aviles being second on the team with 37? That's hardly to be expected.
Aviles collected another RBI Tuesday night and it proved to be huge, since it was the difference in the Red Sox' 2-1 win over the Miami Marlins, snapping a four-game Sox losing streak.
The shortstop came up in the seventh with two outs and Kelly Shoppach on second and the Sox leading 1-0.
"I was just trying to battle and not hit the ball in the infield," said Aviles. "That's really what I've been doing the last few ABs. I was just trying see the ball up and I was fortunate enough that the ball blooped in."
The Sox came into Tuesday having averaged just 3.1 runs per game over the previous eight contests, during which they hit just .221
The two runs Tuesday night hardly represented a breakout for the offense. But the fact that the Sox have been struggling at the plate put an extra premium on every run.
"We haven't been scoring the runs that we normally can score," said Aviles. "We were fortunate to put a couple hits together there and get the win."
Not only is Aviles nipping at Ortiz's heels for the team lead in RBI, but he also leads all major league shortstops in RBI.
"That's kind of cool, I guess," said Aviles. "That just show you how good an offense this team really has, because I feel like I bat with someone on base all the time. I'm just fortunate enough to get hits in those at-bats.
"I try to have good at-bats and help any way I can. I know that if I come up to the plate with someone in scoring position or on base, any hit can help out. The way the pitchers have been throwing the ball lately, we need to put those runs on the board."
Not that Aviles' only contribution came with the bat. He also turned a huge double play with a backhand stab of a hard grounder from Hanley Ramirez with one on and no out in the sixth. In a scoreless game at the time, that started a big 6-4-3 double play.
"I know the surface here plays pretty quick," said Aviles. "Hanley hit that ball pretty good. It was more like I wanted to get down and at least knock it down and if I caught it, I was going to try to turn to. But I wanted to make sure that ball didn't get to the outfield because I didn't want them to get a rally going."