Beckett gives up six runs in six innings


ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Taking on the best pitchers in the National
League is becoming a routine occurrence for Jason Marquis.

Marquis added World Series MVP Josh Beckett to the list of
pitchers he has outperformed with a dominant outing Friday night,
and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Florida Marlins 6-3.

He faced Randy Johnson and Roy Oswalt in his last two starts but
did not get a decision in St. Louis' two victories.

"I just go out there and try to pitch," Marquis said. "I
can't worry about who I'm facing. I just try to pitch my game and
let my teammates take care of the rest."

Ray Lankford homered, Hector Luna had two RBI singles and Jim
Edmonds doubled twice, drove in a run and scored twice to help the
Cardinals win for the fourth time in five games.

Beckett, who shut out the Yankees in Game 6 to clinch the World
Series title, gave up six runs on nine hits in six innings. He had
allowed only two earned runs in 14 innings in his previous two

"Too many balls right down the middle of the plate," Beckett
said. "You can't do that. I felt good; I thought I had good

The loss dropped Beckett to .500 this season (3-3) and for his
career (20-20).

"It was a battle," Beckett said. "I was lucky I got six
innings in. We lost, and that's the main thing."

Marquis (2-3) allowed two runs on five hits in 7 2-3 innings
with two strikeouts and two walks. He retired 13 of 14 batters
between the second and sixth innings and the Marlins didn't strand
a runner until leaving two on in the seventh.

Marquis had been 0-2 in his previous four starts despite a 2.73
ERA in that span.

Lankford hit his fourth homer, and first in 61 at-bats since
April 21, with one out in the first.

"I was thinking I was going to go home and play with the
PlayStation and hit one or something, see how it feels," Lankford
said. "It was good to put us on the board early and I think that
kind of gave us momentum offensively."

Florida tied it in the second when Miguel Cabrera hit a leadoff
double and scored from third on a delayed double play that ended
the inning. But the Cardinals took the lead for good in the bottom
half with two runs on four straight inning-opening hits.

Luna, who started at shortstop in place of injured Edgar
Renteria, and Mike Matheny each had RBI singles in the inning.

The Cardinals also started fast in a three-run sixth with a walk
and two hits, including an RBI double by Edmonds. Marlon Anderson
added a sacrifice fly and Luna had his second run-scoring single to
make it 6-1.

After pinch-hitter Wil Cordero's RBI single off the base of the
left-field wall left runners on first and third with two outs in
the eighth, Jason Isringhausen relieved and got the last four outs,
but gave up a run in the ninth, for his seventh save in eight

Game notes
Cardinals farmhand Brad Thompson tied a Southern League
record with 43 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings, throwing six
shutout innings for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies on Friday. The
previous record was 43 innings. He has 52 straight scoreless
innings dating to last season, two shy of the minor league record
by Urban Shocker in 1916. ... Lankford is the career homer leader
at Busch Stadium with 122. He's in his 14th season -- 11 with the
Cardinals -- and his first three homers this season came on the
road. ... Matheny's RBI single in the second was his first with a
hit since April 11. ... Albert Pujols hadn't walked in 43 plate
appearances before walking in consecutive at-bats in the third and
sixth. ... Marquis has a 1.80 ERA on the road but had been 1-2 with
a 5.11 ERA in his first four home starts. ... Cardinals LHP Ray
King had a lengthy argument with 1B umpire Jerry Crawford after
getting removed in the eighth, and was ejected. King was unhappy
about a checked swing call that would have struck out Cordero, the
only batter he faced. ... Renteria, who sat with lower back pain,
said there's a chance he could play Saturday.