Miami, FL – The Miami Marlins only had one baserunner past the second inning but did enough in the first two frames to beat their former ace and the Boston Red Sox, 4-1, in the opener of a three-game interleague series.
Josh Johnson (4-4) bettered Josh Beckett with seven innings of one-run ball, and Donovan Solano drove in two runs to help Miami snap a six-game losing streak. Johnson allowed four hits and one walk while fanning seven.
"Johnson continued to throw the ball pretty well," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "And he was going against a lineup that can hit. He handled it pretty well."
Boston's struggles continued, losing for the seventh time in eight games despite Beckett (4-7) retiring 16 of the final 17 hitters he faced in a seven- inning start.
Beckett, who spent five years with the Marlins from 2001-05, was greeted by a leadoff triple from Jose Reyes in his first start against his former club.
Solano followed with a sacrifice fly, and Giancarlo Stanton kept the first inning alive with a two-out single. Logan Morrison then doubled high off the right-field wall, and Adrian Gonzalez bobbled the ball off the fence, allowing Stanton to come around to score.
Gaby Sanchez, in his second game since being recalled from the minors, added an RBI single, and Solano made it 4-0 with a run-scoring base hit to center in the second.
Beckett was masterful from then on, but the Red Sox had little success at the plate.
Johnson retired three in a row after Boston's first two hitters reached base, then did not allow a runner to reach past first until the sixth, when Scott Podsednik singled with one away and moved to third on Dustin Pedroia's double.
The Sox only pushed one run across on Adrian Gonzalez's sac fly, and Steve Cishek and Heath Bell picked up where Johnson left off.
Cishek worked around a two-out single in the eighth, and Bell shook off a leadoff walk in the ninth by striking out David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kevin Youkilis to pick up his 13th save.
"Johnson was pretty tough," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "We had a couple of opportunities against him...but every fire he put out."
Beckett, who allowed six hits and one walk while striking out five, won the 2003 World Series MVP with the Marlins. He was traded to the Red Sox leading up to the 2006 season...Johnson has not lost an interleague start since June 23, 2007 vs. Minnesota -- a streak of nine straight outings...Reyes celebrated his 29th birthday on Monday...The Marlins can earn their first series win over the Red Sox since 1997 on Tuesday when Mark Buehrle toes the rubber opposite Clay Buchholz.