<
>

Beckett bounced in return; Wells goes 8

MIAMI (AP) -- Blisters keep getting the better of Josh Beckett.

The World Series MVP went back on the disabled list Monday night
after leaving his start against Pittsburgh early in the Florida
Marlins' 3-1 loss.

Beckett, who hadn't started since June 17 because of a lower
back strain, was pulled after four innings because of a blister. He
allowed two earned runs on five hits in his 73-pitch outing.

"I keep getting bit by this," Beckett said. "I don't know
what it is. Hopefully, after the All-Star break, I'll be able to
come back.

"Right now, words can't describe how I feel. I don't like to
miss games like this, but I know I can't pitch with it the way it
is."

It's the second time he's come off the DL only to promptly
return. He was making just his second start since May 30, a day
before he went on the disabled list because of a blister on his
right middle finger.

"This time, it bled," Beckett said. "The thing was dripping
blood. I really don't know why this thing keeps popping."

Kip Wells pitched eight shutout innings for the Pirates' 10th
straight win.

Wells (4-5) won for the first time since May 1, allowing four
hits and striking out eight for his first win in eight starts.

"All wins are good, but when your team is doing well, you want
to contribute and say you did your part," Wells said. "We've been
playing well, and I wanted to contribute and keep things going."

Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his 21st save in 22 chances, but
allowed Alex Gonzalez's RBI double. With one out, catcher Jason
Kendall made a heads-up play to prevent another run from scoring.

He ran to retrieve a wild pitch that bounced off the wall behind
home and dove across the plate to tag out Gonzalez by inches as he
tried to score from third.

In the second inning, Jose Castillo hit a solo homer for a 2-0
lead as the Pirates won for the 11th time in their last 13. Craig
Wilson hit a two-out RBI double off Beckett in the first.

The Pirates added an unearned run in the third on shortstop
Gonzalez's throwing error.

With Kendall on second and Jack Wilson on first, Rob Mackowiak
hit a grounder to second. Gonzalez threw wildly to first trying to
turn the double play, and Kendall scored.

Game notes
Florida has lost 12 of its last 17. ... Jack Wilson, who
leads the NL in hits, went 2-for-4 to give him 115. ... The Pirates
have eight homers in their last four games. ... The Marlins have
gone hitless in their last 28 at-bats with runners in scoring
position. ... The Marlins had their streak of games without an
error end at six. ... Florida C Mike Redman left the game in the
seventh with lower back stiffness.