BOSTON -- Ricky Nolasco held the Red Sox to one hit in the first five innings Thursday night, and the Boston weather took care of the rest.
Dan Uggla and Ronny Paulino homered for Florida, and Nolasco gave up Kevin Youkilis' shot before the Marlins earned a 2-1 victory over Boston when the game was called early in the sixth because of rain.
"He would have had a chance to go real deep in the ballgame, the way he was pitching," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I would rather he keep going. I thought he had some pretty good stuff."
The only other Red Sox batter to reach base was David Ortiz, who hit a high popup in the fifth that third baseman Emilio Bonifacio dropped for an error when he collided with Uggla behind second base. But Nolasco (3-6) got Mike Lowell on a line drive to left and Jacoby Ellsbury on a fielder's choice before Jason Varitek struck out to end the inning.
Jon Lester (5-6) gave up Jorge Cantu's single to lead off the sixth and had a 2-2 count on Uggla when the umpires signaled for the tarp at 8:59 p.m. The game was officially called after a delay of 2 hours, 26 minutes.
"You pretty much know the rain's coming and you try to keep your team in the game as long as you can," said Nolasco, who struck out five for his first victory in five starts since May 8. "You never want to give up runs, no matter what the rain is and what the score is. But I definitely didn't want to give up the tying run, knowing the rain was coming."
The Marlins avoided a sweep in the interleague series after being outscored 14-3 in the first two games, and they returned to Miami to face the New York Yankees after going 4-2 on a road trip to Toronto and Boston.
"When you first look at the schedule and you're looking at the American League East, to go 4-2 is pretty good," Gonzalez said. "I would have taken 3-3 in December when I saw the schedule."
One night after the Red Sox celebrated their record 500th consecutive sellout at Fenway Park, rain kept thousands of ticketholders away -- though it was still a sellout -- and sent many more scurrying for cover when a steady drizzle turned into a downpour.
For those who stuck around, the scoreboard showed the New York Yankees' loss to the Washington Nationals. Then it showed the Baltimore Orioles beating the New York Mets and the Detroit Tigers beating the St. Louis Cardinals before flipping on the West Coast game between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth inning.
"From where we're sitting, we want to stay and play until whenever," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "We're the home team; we're not traveling. There are a lot of reasons we wanted to play. ... We got the call; I don't know if at that point you beg, it doesn't help."
Lowell said the weather forecast made it clear they were never going to be able to play a full game.
"I think a lot of guys are [upset] right now. Absolutely. Without a doubt," Lowell said. "I don't know if the gate's worth it. I don't know. There's a lot of guys, I'm one of them."
Lester gave up two runs and eight hits, striking out four. In his previous three starts, Lester (5-6) had struck out 34 while allowing seven hits and three earned runs and limiting opposing batters to an .099 average.
Nolasco has put together three solid starts after opening the season with a 2-6 record and 9.07 ERA in his first nine starts.
Youkilis had just two hits and 11 strikeouts in the previous five games. ... A scoring change made by the commissioner's office took a June 10 double away from Dustin Pedroia and instead gave an error to New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher. Chien-Ming Wang was charged with one fewer earned run from the 6-5 Boston victory. ... Red Sox RHP John Smoltz threw two simulated innings in the bullpen as he tries to get ready for next Thursday's start against Washington -- his first since April 27, 2008. ... Boston SS Jed Lowrie had four at-bats in an extended spring training game as he tries to come back from wrist surgery.