Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Florida won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, May 7
San Diego1Final
Florida3
Game 2: Saturday, May 8
San Diego6Final
in 10
Florida3
Game 3: Sunday, May 9
San Diego4Final
Florida7

Padres 4

(19-13, 8-8 away)

Marlins 7

(18-13, 9-6 home)

    3:05 PM ET, May 9, 2004

    Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    SD 010000102 4 9 0
    FLA 15001000 - 7 12 0

    W: J. Beckett (3-2)

    L: A. Eaton (1-3)

    S: A. Benitez (13)

    Beckett pitches six strong innings

    MIAMI (AP) -- Miguel Cabrera was moved down from the No. 3 spot in the Florida Marlins' lineup, and rediscovered his powerful stroke.

    Cabrera batted fourth for the first time this season and hit his league-leading 11th home run, and Josh Beckett pitched six strong innings in the Marlins' 7-4 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

    "The RBI are important. It doesn't matter if I bat third, fourth or fifth," said Cabrera, who was fifth in the order Saturday after hitting third in every other game this season. "I just go out and do my job."

    Cabrera homered for the second straight day, a three-run shot in the second inning, to give Beckett a 6-1 cushion. Beckett (3-2) allowed one run and five hits in his second win in three starts.

    Cabrera snapped out a 3-for-28 slide with three hits on Saturday, including a 426-foot home run to center. He followed that by going 2-for-3 on Sunday, with two walks and the three RBI.

    Manager Jack McKeon said Cabrera will stay in the cleanup spot, and Mike Lowell, who was given the day off, will move up to third.

    In his last three starts, Beckett has allowed five earned runs and struck out 17 in 21 innings. He pitched out of trouble in each of the first two innings, then settled down as the NL East-leading Marlins wrapped up their homestand 3-3.

    Justin Wayne followed Beckett and pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, including Ramon Hernandez's two-run homer in the ninth. Armando Benitez got one out for his 13th save in 14 chances.

    Alex Gonzalez also homered for Florida, and leadoff man Juan Pierre went 3-for-4 as the Marlins finished with 12 hits.

    Padres starter Adam Eaton (1-3) lasted just 1 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. Winless in his last five starts, he allowed six runs on six hits.

    Cabrera appeared to have struck out to end the second inning, fouling a ball into Hernandez's mitt. However, plate umpire Charlie Reliford ruled that Hernandez trapped the ball, thus extending Cabrera's at-bat. Two pitches later, Cabrera lined a pitch from Eaton over the left-field fence to cap a five-run inning for the Marlins.

    With the game tied at 1 in the second, the Marlins got started when Gonzalez, hitless in his previous 10 at-bats, hit a solo homer to open the inning. Beckett walked, moved to second on Juan Pierre's single, and took third on a fielder's choice. Hee Seop Choi drove in Beckett with a single, and Cabrera followed with his homer.

    McKeon said he decided after Saturday's game to move Cabrera into the cleanup spot, which he occupied during last year's World Series.

    "I see signs of him getting back to his old self and not being overanxious," McKeon said. "That comes with taking bases on balls. He's quick. He turned on that fastball, and zing -- it was out."

    Beckett was steady on the mound, although he wasn't overpowering, finishing with just three strikeouts.

    "I didn't have great stuff, but I had enough stuff to win," he said. "My guys scored some runs for me today, so I have to tip my cap to them."

    Eaton had no such luck.

    "Nothing came easy today," Eaton said. "I got guys to two strikes pretty quickly, but I couldn't get them out."

    The game might have turned out differently had Eaton escaped the second down only 3-1. He didn't have that chance, although he stopped short of blaming Reliford with a blown call.

    "The rules say if you foul a pitch off and someone catches it, it's an out," Eaton said. "Then again, I didn't make the right pitch later in that at-bat."

    Florida took a 1-0 lead in the first on Jeff Conine's RBI single, but San Diego tied it in the second Khalil Greene's sacrifice fly.

    Game notes


    Florida 3B Mike Lowell was out of the lineup, one day after fouling a ball off the inside of his left shin. ... Kerry Robinson started for the first time this year for the Padres, leading off and playing center field. He went 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base. ... Manager Bruce Bochy further juggled his batting order, moving Sean Burroughs, Mark Loretta, Brian Giles and Phil Nevin down one spot each into the Nos. 2-5 positions. ... Marlins C Ramon Castro, 2-for-33 coming in, went 2-for-4. ... Pierre robbed Brian Giles of extra bases in the eighth, running down a ball deep to center and making an over-the-shoulder catch near the wall.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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