Beckett cruises in final spring start
Opening Day starter finished Grapefruit action with 0.99 ERA
JUPITER, Fla. -- Juan Encarnacion and Damion Easley each homered, and the Marlins rode the arm of Josh Beckett to a 3-1 win over the Nationals on Thursday at Roger Dean Stadium.
Florida's Opening Day starter, Beckett breezed through his final Grapefruit League outing. The hard-throwing right-hander gave up one run on five hits in seven innings. Extremely efficient, Beckett threw 74 pitches, striking out three without issuing a walk.
In six spring starts, Beckett finished his Grapefruit League season with an 0.99 ERA.
Nationals right-hander John Patterson, now the fifth starter because Tony Armas Jr. is out with a groin injury, was victimized by two home runs. In six innings, Patterson gave up three runs on four hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
The blemishes on his performance were the homers he surrendered to Encarnacion and Easley.
Encarnacion lined a two-run homer to left in the fourth inning, increasing the Marlins' lead to 3-0.
In the second inning, Easley deposited a solo shot to left.
The Nationals closed the gap to 3-1 in the sixth on Nick Johnson's sacrifice fly that scored Brian Schneider, who doubled.
In the sixth inning, Nationals left fielder Terrmel Sledge left the game with a left calf strain. He will be reevaluated on Friday.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.