Miami (69-59) at San Francisco (77-50)

  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sat Aug 23, 2003
  • TV: FOX
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Dontrelle Willis couldn’t slow down Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants. Josh Beckett gets his chance on Saturday.

The Florida Marlins look to keep pace in the National League wild card race as they continue their three-game series against the Giants at Pac Bell Park.

The Marlins have lost four straight to fall 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia in the race for the NL wild card.

Marquis Grissom homered and Sidney Ponson earned his first NL win as San Francisco beat Florida 6-4 on Friday.

Andres Galarraga had three hits and drove in the go-ahead run during a five-run sixth inning as the Giants won their fourth straight after losing a season-high six in a row.

Willis lost his second straight decision after allowing four runs and six hits. He matched his career high with four walks and matched his career low with one strikeout.

Beckett is looking to win back-to-back starts. The hard-throwing right-hander pitched eight innings, yielding two runs and five hits while striking out eight to earn an 11-7 win over San Diego on Sunday.

Beckett has a 2.72 ERA over his last four starts. He is 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA in three career starts against San Francisco, with Bonds going 1-for-2 with a homer and two walks against him.

Bonds went 1-for-1 with two walks and two runs scored against Willis on Friday. The five-time NL MVP is hitting .425 with six home runs and 13 runs scored over the last 14 games.

Bonds’ two walks raised his major league-leading total to 119.

Marlins manager Jack McKeon called Bonds the greatest player in the game today.

“And he might be the greatest ever,” McKeon said. “If you see him in a tie game in the last inning against us, you’ll see him on first base. I ain’t going to let him beat me.”

The Giants have won five straight against the Marlins, including all four matchups this season.

STANDINGS: Marlins - 3rd place, 12 GB, NL East. Giants - 1st place, NL West.

MARLINS PROBABLE STARTER: Beckett (6-6, 3.38 ERA). Beckett, 23, has 99 strikeouts in 93 1-3 innings.

GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Dustin Hermanson (2-3, 4.37 ERA). Hermanson is 5-4 with a 2.00 ERA in 15 career appearances against Florida, including 12 starts. The veteran right-hander has pitched well in his three starts for the Giants, going 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA. Hermanson, 30, held Montreal to one run and four hits in a 4-0 loss on Monday.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Marlins - Luis Castillo, .322 avg. and 83 runs; Mike Lowell, 32 HRs and 104 RBIs; Juan Pierre, 57 SBs. Giants - Bonds, .339 avg., 39 HRs, 79 RBIs and 92 runs; Marquis Grissom, 9 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Giants, 4-0.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Marlins - 1B Derrek Lee is batting .150 (3-for-20) lifetime against Hermanson. … RHP Beckett is just 1-3 with a 4.54 ERA on the road. … RHP Rick Helling, whom the Marlins signed on Thursday, is expected to be available for duty on Saturday. Helling has a career record of 89-78 and a 4.82 ERA. Giants - RHP Tim Worrell leads San Francisco with 26 saves but has a 6.75 ERA and two blown saves over his last four appearances. … OF Bonds leads the majors with 39 home runs and a .755 slugging percentage. … 3B Edgardo Alfonso is hitting .323 since the All-Star break. He hit .236 in the first half of the season.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Marlins - 29-34 on the road; Giants - 45-18 at home.

INJURIES: Marlins - OF Todd Hollandsworth (back), 15-day DL; LHP Armando Almanza (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Tommy Phelps (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Toby Borland (appendix), 60-day DL; RHP A.J. Burnett (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Kevin Olsen (concussion), 60-day DL; RHP Tim Spooneybarger (arm), 60-day DL. Giants - C Alberto Castillo (wrist), 15-day DL; IF Ray Durham (leg), 15-day DL; IF J.T. Snow (groin), 15-day DL; OF Marvin Benard (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Jesse Foppert (arm), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Kirk Rueter (shoulder), 15-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Beckett LAD vs. D. Hermanson CIN
9-8 Record 3-3
3.04 ERA 4.06
152 K 39
56 BB 24
1.32 WHIP 1.37