BOSTON (CBS) — After going winless for nearly two months, Rick Porcello was just happy to help his team keep their win streak alive.

Porcello picked up his first win since May 16 Wednesday night, holding the Miami Marlins to just two runs over six innings of work in Boston’s 6-3 victory at Fenway Park. It was the fourth straight win for the Red Sox, their first four-game winning streak of the season.

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“It feels great,” Porcello said after his outing. “Contribute in a positive way and keep our streak going.”

Porcello gave up eight hits and struck out four, improving to 5-9 on the season.

“A lift for Rick, for sure, and a start we needed out of him,” said manager John Farrell. “He certainly helped himself with a couple of key defensive plays, particularly the final out of the fourth inning.”

The 26-year-old ran into some trouble in the fourth inning after his offense had spotted him a 4-0 lead. Holding on to leads has been an issue for the right-hander all season, but he flashed some nice leather to end a Miami threat.

The Marlins cut Boston’s lead in half with back-to-back RBI singles, and they could have done more damage with the bases loaded and just one out. After getting Dee Gordon to ground into a fielder’s choice, Porcello made a nice snag at a Christian Yelich grounder back to the mound and tossed it to first base to retire the side. Had the ball made it into center field the game likely would have been tied, and Porcello’s night would have probably come to another early end.

It was a picture Porcello and Red Sox fans had seen far too many times this season, but Porcello was happy to keep that big inning off the scoreboard.

“Just limited that big inning, that was it. Other than that just worked on executing pitches,” he said of the keys to his success on Wednesday. “[Ryan] Hanigan called a great game back there; I just hung in with him and continued to make pitch after pitch.”

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Porcello raved about having Hanigan back behind the plate, and it was clear he missed the veteran during his two-month absence with a broken bone in his hand.

“He’s huge; an experienced veteran catcher. I just followed his lead,” Porcello said of Hanigan, who scored a run and drew two walks as Boston’s No. 9 hitter.

While the Marlins (35-50) don’t have a very good offense, especially with Giancarlo Stanton sidelined, the outing was a promising one for Porcello. It was his final start before the All-Star break, and many wondered if Farrell should skip his turn, giving the pitcher a lengthy rest to get things right mentally and physically. While he wasn’t perfect, Porcello pitched well enough to give his team a chance to win.

Any strong outing, even against the Marlins, is a step in the right direction for Porcello. On Wednesday he didn’t turn into a puddle on the mound when his team gave him a lead, and he did a nice Houdini impression during his fourth inning jam. He looked much more like the pitcher he was the last six seasons in Detroit, inducing a season-high 13 groundouts.

One start won’t turn Porcello’s disappointing season around, but Wednesday night was a step in the right direction. For once, he wasn’t the reason a Boston win streak came to a screeching halt, and the team will continue to ride some momentum into a key series against the AL East leading New York Yankees.

Now we’ll see if Porcello can ride his own momentum into the second half.

Zolak & Bertrand discuss Porcello’s start vs. Marlins: 

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