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Washington at Florida

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Florida «00000026x8120

Beckett returns to old form as Fish beat up on Nationals

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- Josh Beckett is starting the season the way he finished 2003, which bodes well for the Florida Marlins.

Beckett (2-0) pitched a five-hitter to extend his streak of scoreless innings to 15, and Juan Encarnacion hit his second grand slam of the week to help Florida beat the Washington Nationals 8-0 Sunday.

The complete game was just the second for Beckett since he pitched a five-hit shutout to beat the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series. That performance capped a brilliant postseason, and he was named World Series MVP.

But an injury-plagued Beckett went just 9-9 last year, and he began this season with a .500 career record (26-26) and a reputation as an underachiever.

"I've seen a tremendous change in the guy," manager Jack McKeon said. "I saw a great work ethic in spring training. I saw a guy that was focused and determined. He has all that potential, and he wants to bring it to the front, and he has been pitching like that."

Beckett walked one, struck out 11 and retired 14 consecutive batters before Jose Vidro doubled with one out in the ninth. The right-hander pitched six shutout innings to win on opening day.

"It's a basic formula I'm using this year -- control the things you can control, and don't worry about anything else," Beckett said. "Right after the last pitch of the game, you start thinking about your next one. If you don't, you'll go out and get shellacked, and I'm back to being a .500 pitcher again, and that's all anybody wants to talk about."

Pinch-hitter Paul Lo Duca broke a scoreless tie with a two-run double in the seventh. Florida added six runs in the eighth, capped by Encarnacion's third career slam. He also hit one in the Marlins' opener.

Beckett's performance lowered the Marlins' ERA to 1.07, and all three of their victories have been shutouts. They're just 3-3 despite outscoring opponents 31-9.

Until the seventh, Beckett was locked in a scoreless duel with John Patterson (0-1), who was given the start when Tony Armas Jr. went on the disabled list with a pulled groin.

Patterson retired 11 in a row before Carlos Delgado led off the seventh with a single, and Encarnacion walked. Lo Duca, who had been given the day off, came off the bench with two out and hit a liner into the opposite-field corner to score both runners.

"I hit it in the right spot," Lo Duca said. "In that situation you can't try to do too much."

Lo Duca came up inches short of a game-winning home run in the ninth inning of Florida's loss to Washington on Saturday.

Miguel Cabrera singled home a run in the eighth, and after Delgado was intentionally walked with runners at first and third, Mike Lowell also hit an RBI single. Encarnacion followed with his homer, which earned him a curtain call for the second time this week from a crowd of 25,089.

He also earned some ribbing from teammates.

"They said, `Leave some people on base for the other guys,"' he said.

Patterson was charged with two runs in seven innings.

"He couldn't do any more than he did," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. "We just couldn't do anything with Mr. Beckett, so it didn't matter what John did."

Beckett threw 110 pitches, 78 for strikes. He frequently hit 95 mph on the scoreboard speed gun and retired the leadoff batter in every inning.

"He was spotting his fastball and throwing a nasty breaking pitch in the dirt, and guys were fishing," Matt Treanor said after catching Beckett for the first time since both were in Double-A. "He was throwing all three of his pitches and locating with all of them. You couldn't play Nintendo better."

Notes

  • Florida's Juan Pierre was back in the lineup after his streak of 1,700 consecutive innings ended Saturday. He has played in 341 consecutive games.
  • In the first week of the season, the Nationals hit two extra-inning homers. The Expos hit three all of last year.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Josh Beckett dominates the Nationals, pitching a complete game and striking out 11. (AP)
Josh Beckett dominates the Nationals, pitching a complete game and striking out 11. (AP)

Players of the Game
Florida

J. Beckett
IP 9.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 1
K 11
Florida

J. Encarnacion
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
 

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Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, CF4010030 .440
Nick Johnson, 1B3010100 .278
Jose Vidro, 2B4010003 .231
Jose Guillen, RF4010022 .333
Ryan Church, LF4000011 .200
Vinny Castilla, 3B3010010 .364
Brian Schneider, C3000011 .200
Cristian Guzman, SS3000010 .130
John Patterson, P2000010 .000
   a- Carlos Baerga, PH1000010 .000
    Joey Eischen, P0000000 .000
    Antonio Osuna, P0000000 .000
Totals310501117 
a-struck out for Patterson in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jose Vidro (2, Beckett), Jose Guillen (1, Beckett)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jose Guillen 1
Washington Nationals
John Patterson (L,0-1) 7622160 2.57
Joey Eischen 0.1222000 7.71
Antonio Osuna 0.2444201 42.43
IBB - Delgado by Antonio Osuna
Pitches-Strikes - John Patterson 92-60, Joey Eischen 9-5, Antonio Osuna 27-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Patterson 6-7, Antonio Osuna 1-1
Batters Faced - John Patterson 26, Joey Eischen 3, Antonio Osuna 8
Florida Marlins
Juan Pierre, CF5130002 .304
Luis Castillo, 2B4000003 .111
Miguel Cabrera, LF4111012 .269
Carlos Delgado, 1B3210120 .348
Mike Lowell, 3B4111001 .240
Juan Encarnacion, RF3224110 .304
Alex Gonzalez, SS4010013 .348
Matt Treanor, C2010000 .500
   a- Paul Lo Duca, PH-C1012100 .391
Josh Beckett, P4110013 .200
Totals3481283614 
a-doubled for Treanor in the 7th
Batting
2B - Paul Lo Duca (1, Patterson)
HR - Juan Encarnacion (2, Osuna)
RBI - Miguel Cabrera (5), Mike Lowell (4), Juan Encarnacion 4 (8), Paul Lo Duca 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Paul Lo Duca 2 (2)
CS - Juan Pierre (1, 2nd base by Patterson/Schneider)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Juan Pierre 1
Florida Marlins
Josh Beckett (W,2-0) 95001110 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 110-78
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 8-7
Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 32
Game Information
Attendance - 25089
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Ed Montague, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Paul Emmel, Third Base - Tony Randazzo