Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Florida won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, May 16
Florida6Final
LA Dodgers2
Game 2: Tuesday, May 17
Florida5Final
LA Dodgers14
Game 3: Wednesday, May 18
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LA Dodgers3

Marlins 8

(21-16, 9-8 away)

Dodgers 3

(22-18, 11-9 home)

3:10 PM ET, May 18, 2005

Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California 

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W: J. Beckett (6-3)

L: J. Weaver (4-3)

Beckett keeps Dodgers lineup in check

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Josh Beckett is learning how to win without his best stuff.

Beckett labored through six gritty innings, and the Florida Marlins got home runs from Carlos Delgado, Miguel Cabrera and Damion Easley in a five-run sixth to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 Wednesday.

Despite losing All-Star third baseman Mike Lowell to a nose injury, the Marlins took two of three from the defending NL West champions after getting swept in a three-game series at San Diego.

The Dodgers, who haven't won back-to-back games since winning their third in a row on May 1, have lost three consecutive series -- dropping two of three to Atlanta and three of four at St. Louis.

Beckett (6-3) allowed two runs and five hits and singled home a run. The right-hander, whose strikeout-to-walk ratio has always been in the 3-to-1 range, fanned six and walked five.

"Today he struggled big-time with his control, but he found a way," catcher Paul Lo Duca said. "He had a lot of pitches for six innings and he didn't have his best stuff, but he battled and kept us in the game."

Beckett, the World Series MVP in 2003, has made 82 regular-season starts in the majors and still hasn't won more than two consecutive decisions. His career record is 32-29, which surprises a lot of his supporters who expected bigger things from him by now.

"He's going to have those expectations anyway because he's got dynamite stuff," Lo Duca said. "He's still maturing, and I really think he's going to win a Cy Young before he's done. I think he's starting to figure it out. He just has to realize he doesn't have to strike everybody out."

All three Florida homers came off Jeff Weaver (4-3), who was charged with six runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings and is 0-2 in four career starts against the Marlins.

Delgado hit his second opposite-field, two-run homer in two days, giving Florida a 3-2 lead in the sixth after Lo Duca's leadoff single. Cabrera followed with his eighth homer on an 0-2 pitch, giving the Marlins back-to-back home runs for the first time since last June 29 in Atlanta.

"Delgado actually hit a pretty darn good pitch out of the ballpark," Dodgers catcher Paul Bako said. "He hurt us on a pitch that Weave didn't really make a mistake on. But then he made a mistake to Cabrera, and things kind of just snowballed from there."

Easley hit his third homer two outs later, and Alex Gonzalez chased Weaver with a double. Duaner Sanchez walked Beckett before Juan Pierre capped the rally with an RBI single that made it 6-2.

The Dodgers got a run back in the seventh on J.D. Drew's RBI single, but shortstop Gonzalez made a great over-the-shoulder grab in short left field two outs later to rob Milton Bradley of a potential two-run single that would have cut Florida's lead to one.

Lowell left in the second inning with a bruise after he lost Bradley's popup in the sun near the dugout and was hit on the nose. Bradley, given a second chance, drew a walk.

"I knew I was going to get it in the sun. Most people turn away, but I'm not that smart," Lowell said. "It hit a little bit of my nose and a lot of my upper mouth. It's just real sore, but I'm glad it's not broken. I guess it would have been scary if it hit me higher on the nose, and then I had to have surgery and ruin this beautiful face."

Lowell was replaced by Joe Dillon, recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque. Dillon filled the roster spot vacated when reliever Jim Crowell was designated for assignment after giving up six runs and six hits in the eighth inning of Tuesday night's 14-5 loss.

Dillon, who turns 30 on Aug. 2, signed with the Marlins as a free agent in March 2004 and hit 46 home runs in the minors last season, including 33 at Triple-A. Two years ago, he was the baseball coach at his alma mater, Texas Tech, where his single-season school record of 33 home runs still stands.

"I was going back to school to finish my degree, and I didn't think I'd be in this situation," said Dillon, whose parents, sister and brother-in-law flew down from the Sacramento area to witness his first day in the big leagues.

"There was six or seven months there where I didn't even think about playing anymore. I thought I was done," Dillon said. "But everything worked out. It's been a roller coaster, but this is what my goal was, so I hope I can stay here and contribute and help the team win some games."

The promotion was so sudden, Dillon had to use Lo Duca's shoes, Jeff Conine's bat and one of Gonzalez's gloves. Dillon came up for the first time in the majors in the fifth and singled.

Game notes


After the game, Florida optioned RHP Travis Smith to Albuquerque and recalled RHP Logan Kensing from the Isotopes. ... Gonzalez, who won Game 4 of the 2003 World Series with a 12th-inning home run off Weaver, is 1-for-9 against him since. ... Dodgers INF Antonio Perez came off the disabled list after being sidelined for 35 games because of a strained left hamstring. OF Jason Grabowski was placed on the 15-day DL because of a right shoulder problem, which has been bothering him all season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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