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BOS@MIA: Buchholz fans nine in seven dominant innings

Clay Buchholz and Mark Buehrle were both on top of their games the last time they met, a week ago Tuesday. This time, they'll both have two extra days' rest.

Boston and Miami are both off Monday -- the second off-day in a four-day span for both clubs -- giving the Red Sox's Buchholz and the Marlins' Buehrle a longer-than-usual pause between outings. The teams open a three-game series at Fenway Park at 7:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, marking the first time the Marlins have been to Boston since 2009.

The Sox took two of three from the Marlins earlier in June, with Buchholz's seven innings of one-run ball and nine strikeouts leading the way to a win in the middle game of the series. Buehrle (5-7, 3.41 ERA) that day was strong, too, going seven innings, as well, while allowing two runs and striking out four. They both allowed five hits.

Buchholz (7-2, 5.38 ERA) was a mystery for the early part of the season, but he's won three in a row and appears to be straightened out. In his last seven outings since May 11, he's 4-1 with a 2.83 ERA and has allowed more than three earned runs in just one of those starts in that span. His first six starts of the year saw him give up, at minimum, five earned runs.

"I thought Clay was absolutely fantastic," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said after Buchholz's last start. "[He's] just throwing the ball as well as we've seen him throw the ball all year. He's really on a roll and his changeup was outstanding. His curveball was real good. He went to the cutter to complement his fastball in the middle of the game. Great job."

Kelly Shoppach, the Red Sox's backup catcher, likely will start Tuesday. He's had a lot of success against Buehrle -- 7-for-16 with three home runs and two doubles. Buehrle was 10-0 in Interleague Play until the Sox downed him. He's 3-2 with a 4.95 ERA in six career games at Fenway.

"He's got me a lot," Buehrle said after Shoppach burned him again in the 2-1 loss. "That first double he got off me, I came up to bat and I was laughing at him. I said, 'Ha ha, you didn't hit a home run off me.' I think he's got three home runs in 15 career at-bats or something."

The Red Sox are 17-10 against the Marlins all-time and 9-6 against the Marlins in Boston. The Marlins dropped two of three at Fenway in 2009.

"To me, of all the old ballparks, Wrigley, [old] Yankee Stadium and Fenway, this is my favorite older stadium," Buehrle said of Fenway. "I don't know why. Obviously, the Green Monster out there, the history. I've had some good memories there. It's a fun place to go to."

Marlins: Cishek makes homecoming

• Marlins reliever Steve Cishek grew up in Falmouth, Mass., and naturally, was a Red Sox fan. He only saw one game at Fenway Park as a kid, as a 9-year-old. He turns 26 on Monday, a day before this series starts.

"The only thing I can really remember from it was being in awe when I first walked in," Cishek said. "Mo Vaughn, at the time, was my favorite player. He was playing against Greg Vaughn, who was with the Brewers when they were in the American League. Mo Vaughn and Mike Greenwell were my two favorites. I liked watching them hit. I remember just being in awe when I walked in there."

Cishek still watched the Sox all the time on TV, and he's excited for what his first Fenway appearance will bring.

"It's going to be insane," Cishek said. "It's what you dream about when you're a kid is being a hitter or pitcher at Fenway Park. Just walking on the field will probably just give me goosebumps. I'm really looking forward to it."

Red Sox: Kalish makes return

• Outfielder Ryan Kalish was activated before Sunday night's game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field when outfielder Ryan Sweeney was placed on the disabled list.

Kalish -- who ran into several complications upon his return from a separated left (throwing) shoulder and underwent neck surgery this past offseason that left him in rehab mode throughout Spring Training -- started in center field Sunday. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Worth noting

• Marlins closer Heath Bell has four career Interleague wins, tying him with Edward Mujica for most among Marlins relievers.

• Over the past six games, Red Sox relievers have allowed only one earned run in 13 1/3 innings. Since April 23, Boston's bullpen paces the Majors with a 2.01 ERA (36 earned runs in 161 innings). Comments