<
>

Burnett dominates Rays with two-hitter

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- A.J. Burnett put the finishing
touches on a weekend of strong pitching by the Florida Marlins.

Burnett threw a two-hitter for his first shutout since 2002,
leading the Marlins to a three-game sweep with a 1-0 win over the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Sunday.

"I was throwing everything I had, and everything was working,"
Burnett said.

The Marlins limited Tampa Bay to 13 hits in the three-game set.

"I'm glad to get them out of here," Devil Rays manager Lou
Piniella said. "We haven't hit their pitchers all year."

Burnett (5-5) allowed only a third-inning single to Jonny Gomes
before Nick Green tripled with one out in the sixth. Green was
stranded when Burnett retired Kevin Cash and Carl Crawford on
grounders.

The right-hander struck out seven and walked two in his seventh
career shutout and third complete game this season. He has won 42
games for the Marlins, tying Ryan Dempster for second place on the
team's career list. Brad Penny holds the top spot with 48
victories.

Burnett fanned five of his final eight batters for his first
shutout since Aug. 18, 2002, at San Francisco. He has 13 career
complete games, including a no-hitter on May 12, 2001, against San
Diego.

"[Today] is the best I've seen A.J. throw," Florida manager
Jack McKeon said. "He didn't try to strike everybody out. He just
got it over the plate. You saw him throw in the 98, 97 [mph] range
before, but he used all of his pitches today. He looked like Greg
Maddux out there."

The Marlins, who scored on Miguel Cabrera's bases-loaded walk,
won all six interleague games against Tampa Bay. They have beaten
the Devil Rays seven straight times dating to last season.

Florida went 7-5 on its season-long 12-game road trip, including
three victories over the Devil Rays, who were coming off three wins
in four games at Yankee Stadium.

"We have had some bad spells," Burnett said. "We lost some
tough games, but now we sweep a team that just won three of four in
New York. We still haven't hit our stride."

Seth McClung (0-3) gave up just two hits in seven innings for
Tampa Bay. The right-hander, who began the season in the bullpen
before being sent to the minors, was recalled from Triple-A Durham
before the game.

"It's nice to throw well, but it [stinks] to lose," McClung
said. "You lose as a team and win as a team. I felt like I let
them down walking that guy."

Rookie Chad Orvella, who Piniella said will see more time in a
setup role, allowed one hit in two scoreless innings.

"I couldn't be more pleased with our pitching today," Piniella
said. "If we get this type of pitching, we're going to win some
baseball games. We just didn't hit, and a good part of the reason
is that their kid can pitch, too."

The Devil Rays finished interleague play at 3-15, matching their
mark of two years ago. Tampa Bay was 15-3 against the NL last
season.

Florida loaded the bases with one out in the third, but scored
just once on Cabrera's walk. McClung threw 40 pitches in the
inning, walking three and allowing one hit.

McClung finished with five strikeouts and three walks.

Game notes
It was the Marlins' first 1-0 win since LHP Dontrelle
Willis threw a one-hitter against the New York Mets on June 16,
2003. ... Tampa Bay (26-50) is a season-worst 24 games under .500.
The Devil Rays were 38-38 after 76 games a year ago en route to a
franchise-record 70 wins ... Florida SS Alex Gonzalez singled in
the third to extend his career-best hitting streak to 16 games.
It's the longest by a Marlins player this season. ... Tampa Bay OF
Aubrey Huff was back in the lineup as the DH after being limited to
pinch-hitting duties after bruising his right knee Wednesday. He
went 0-for-4, including a game-ending strikeout with two on. ... To
make room for McClung, the Devil Rays optioned RHP Franklin Nunez
to Durham.