MIAMI (AP) -- A.J. Burnett has a World Series ring from the 2003
season, the one he spent watching from the dugout after
reconstructive elbow surgery.
Not being on the field for that run was tough -- and two years
later, it still motivates him.Burnett threw a three-hit shutout to win his career-high fifth
straight start, and even added an RBI single to help the Marlins
beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 on Tuesday night. It was
Burnett's second shutout of the season, and Florida's
major league-leading 12th as a staff in 2005."It is driving me. It's driving me more now than ever,"
Burnett said. "This is a great team. We've got great pitching.
We've got a great bullpen. We've got great defense and we've got
great hitters. So, we've got a great chance to do it -- and I'm
going to do everything in my power to get us there."Burnett (10-6) struck out five, walked four and threw 120
pitches -- his third-highest total this season."The stuff he was throwing tonight was as good as you're going
to see in this league," said Arizona center fielder Shawn Green.Following the eighth inning, Marlins manager Jack McKeon asked
Burnett if he wanted to finish. Burnett emphatically said he did."Be my guest," McKeon said.Burnett gave up a one-out walk in the ninth, but got Troy Glaus
to hit into a game-ending double play -- the fourth turned by the
Marlins in the game."Every play they made behind me pumped me up even more and gave
me the energy to keep going," Burnett said.Matt Treanor, Mike Lowell, Chris Aguila and Jeff Conine all had
two hits for the Marlins. Treanor doubled twice and scored twice,
Lowell also had two runs and Conine hit his first triple of the
season.Craig Counsell doubled for Arizona, which matched a season-low
by falling six games under .500. Javier Vazquez (9-11) allowed
eight hits and five runs in five innings for his seventh loss in 10
starts."I didn't do anything right," Vazquez said. "I was all over
the place and I got hit. It was just an ugly game all around. ...
Today was one of the worst games I've ever thrown."Burnett allowed only three baserunners in the first five
innings, and two of those were quickly erased in double plays
turned by Marlins' middle infielders Alex Gonzalez and Luis
Castillo.He got into a first-and-second, one-out jam in the seventh, but
induced a hard grounder from Arizona first baseman Conor Jackson --
one that Lowell turned into another double play, ending the inning
and drawing an emphatic fist-pump from Burnett.And another fist shake came when he got out of the eighth; Royce
Clayton walked and eventually got to third with one out, but
Burnett struck out Tony Clark and got Counsell to ground out to end
the inning."That's about as well-pitched a game as I've seen this year,"
Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said.Florida's first run came in the second inning, when Lowell hit a
one-out single and scored on Aguila's long double to left-center
field.The Marlins added three more in the fourth, with Lowell again
starting the burst. He led off with a single and scored two batters
later on a double by Treanor.Aguila scored Florida's third run with some nifty baserunning.
With runners on second and third, Juan Pierre hit a chopper to
shortstop. Clayton fired home in plenty of time to beat Aguila, but
catcher Chris Snyder whiffed on the tag, and Aguila slid around him
safely.Conine drew a bases-loaded walk later in the inning, bringing
home Treanor for a 4-0 lead. Vazquez escaped when Gonzalez --
swinging at the first pitch -- popped out, leaving the bases loaded.Treanor made it 5-0 in the fifth, hitting a two-out double and
scoring on Burnett's single to left -- the second RBI of the season
for the Marlins' right-hander.Aguila and Treanor came up big in their chance to play; each is
filling in for an injured starter, Aguila for right fielder Juan
Encarnacion (wrist) and Treanor for catcher Paul Lo Duca
(hamstring)."Obviously, me and Treanor aren't really going to fill the void
of Lo Duca and Encarnacion," Aguila said.
The game opened a 13-game homestand for the Marlins, a
12-game road trip for the Diamondbacks. ... Burnett made three
great plays on comebackers. He juggled one from Chris Snyder before
throwing to first for the out in the third, made an acrobatic snare
of a ball hit by Jackson in the fifth, and easily got a hard shot
by pinch-hitter Quinton McCracken in the sixth. ... The
Diamondbacks are 0-2 against Burnett this season. ... The Marlins
are hitting .571 with the bases loaded and less than two out, .189
with two outs. ... Clayton's six-game hitting streak ended; he's
had four such streaks this season, but no seven-gamers.