By STEVEN WINE AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) _ Balmy sea breeze is just what the Miami Marlins
needed to snap their slump and beat Josh Beckett.
Some heat from Josh Johnson helped, too.
Desperate for a turnaround, the Marlins opened their retractable
roof for the first time in nearly two months Monday night, took to
the outdoor setting and snapped a six-game losing streak with a 4-1
win over Beckett and the Boston Red Sox.
Johnson outpitched his former teammate, and rookie Donovan
Solano drove in two runs as the Marlins improved to 1-6 on their
homestand. They’re 3-2 with the roof of their new ballpark open.
The Red Sox, last in the AL East, lost for the seventh time in
Beckett (4-7), the Marlins’ postseason star when they won the
World Series in 2003, pitched against them for the first time. He
fell behind 4-0 after two innings but didn’t allow another hit,
retiring 14 in a row. He departed for a pinch hitter after seven
Johnson (4-4) also went seven innings, allowing four hits and
one run. Heath Bell completed a five-hitter by striking out the
side for his 13th save in 17 chances.
To change their luck, the Marlins opened the retractable roof on
their new ballpark for the first time since April 18. President of
baseball operations Larry Beinfest came up with the idea.
“He said, `We can’t trade for 25 guys, so let’s open the
roof,”’ team president David Samson said. “This is our version of
a slump buster.”
On an unusually mild June evening, with low humidity and a
temperature of 79 at game time, the Marlins played better from the
start. They scored three times in the first inning to lead for only
the second time since the homestand began.
Solano, in the lineup because manager Ozzie Guillen gave second
baseman Omar Infante the night off, had a hit and drove in two
runs. He’s batting .455. Gaby Sanchez singled for his second RBI in
as many games since being recalled from Triple-A. The Marlins went
2 for 3 with runners in scoring position after going 5 for 50 in
those situations previously during the homestand.
Johnson needed 27 pitches to get through the first inning. After
the first two batters reached he settled down, retiring 11 in a row
during one stretch before Scott Podsednik singled in the sixth.
Podsednik later scored on a sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzalez.
Johnson earned an assist when he inadvertently kicked Kevin
Youkilis’ sharp one-hopper to shortstop Jose Reyes for a 1-6-3 out.
Reyes led off the first with a triple and scored on Solano’s
sacrifice fly. Giancarlo Stanton singled and scored from first when
Logan Morrison doubled and right fielder Gonzalez bobbled the ball
for an error. Sanchez followed with a run-scoring single.
Solano had a two-out RBI single in the second inning off
Beckett, who fell to 0-3 in his past four starts.
NOTES: Red Sox OF Daniel Nava (sore left hand) again sat out.
… Boston OF Cody Ross, sidelined since May 18 with a broken bone
in his left foot, is scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment
Thursday with Triple-A Pawtucket. … Marlins LHP Mark Buehrle,
scheduled to start Tuesday, has a chance to tie Kenny Rogers’
record of 11 consecutive wins in interleague games. … The video
scoreboard showed highlights of the Heat’s victory over the Celtics
in the NBA Eastern Conference finals, which drew boos from Red Sox
fans in the crowd.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)