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Floyd adds insurance with his 13th home run

5/15/2002

DENVER (AP) -- One day shy of his 22nd birthday, Josh Beckett gave the Florida Marlins a performance befitting a grizzled
veteran.

Beckett scattered three hits over six innings as the Marlins beat Colorado 6-2 on Tuesday night to snap the Rockies' seven-game home winning streak.

Derrek Lee hit a tiebreaking triple in the seventh inning as the Marlins won for the ninth time in 12 games.

Beckett (1-2), making his first start since April 28 after a
stint on the disabled list because of a blister on the middle
finger of his pitching hand, allowed two runs in front of a
record-low crowd of 28,651 at Coors Field.

"My location was there, and that's always a huge thing," Beckett said. "I didn't throw many curves because I was locating my fastball.

"It's nice to be healthy. I didn't have any problems at all with my finger."

Marlins manager Jeff Torborg said Beckett "was outstanding. You
have to realize he hasn't rehabbed. He sat out for 17 days since
his last start. All his work has been on the side.

"His blister didn't bother him. His stuff was down, down."

With the score tied 2-2, Mike Lowell led off the seventh with a single off Denny Neagle (3-2). Lowell scored when Lee's drive went off the wall just inside the left-field foul pole and caromed back toward the infield. Lee then scored on Neagle's wild pitch.

"I knew Derrek Lee was swinging on a 3-0 count right there," Neagle said. "He's an aggressive guy. I needed to stay stubborn. I should have thrown a sinker there. But I threw him a get-me-over four-seam fastball. He was looking for something over the heart of the plate, and I gave it to him.

"There's no excuse. I've been feeling really smooth and
comfortable on the mound. I was cruising along in this start. The
guys came up to me and said, `You gave us a chance to win,' but
that's not good enough in my eyes."

The NL East-leading Marlins scored two more runs in the eighth.
After a walk and Cliff Floyd's double, Lowell had a sacrifice fly
off Rick White. Another run scored on White's wild pitch.

Colorado threatened in the eighth, loading the bases with one
out against Oswaldo Mairena. But Vladimir Nunez struck out Jose
Ortiz and got pinch-hitter Terry Shumpert on a groundout. Nunez got
the last five outs for his eighth save in 10 opportunities.

"We left 10 men on base, they only left four," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's one of the reasons why we didn't win. Beckett has a good young arm. They have some good arms over there, some power and some speed. That's why they're where they are in the standings."

Floyd, who left Monday's game with a bruised right knee, and Colorado's Todd Helton led off their respective halves of the second inning with home runs -- both into the Rockies' bullpen in right-center. It was Floyd's 13th homer and Helton's ninth.

The Marlins went ahead 2-1 in the fifth when Eric Owens walked with two outs, stole second and scored on Mike Redmond's sharp single to right.

Todd Hollandsworth tied it in the Rockies' half with a leadoff homer.

Luis Castillo led off the sixth with a bunt single and stole
second, but Neagle then struck out Alex Gonzalez, Preston Wilson and Floyd.

The Rockies also threatened in their half with two walks, but Beckett retired Hollandsworth on a popup for the third out.

Marlins reliever Braden Looper worked out of a jam in the seventh. After Colorado put runners on second and third with two outs, Looper got Brent Butler to fly out.

Game notes
The Marlins activated Beckett from the 15-day DL on Tuesday
and optioned reliever Gary Knotts to Triple-A Calgary. ... The
previous record-low crowd at Coors Field was 29,522 on April 10.
... Castillo returned to the lineup after missing two games with
tightness in his right hamstring. ... Colorado shortstop Juan
Uribe, in the midst of a 3-for-30 slump, was given the night off.
... It was Colorado's first loss at home under Hurdle after seven
straight wins.