Miami (6-1) at Washington (2-5)

Light Rain Currently: San Juan,
Temp: 82° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Wed Apr 14, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Florida Marlins have picked up where they left off last season, thanks in part to Miguel Cabrera.

With four homers in his last nine at-bats, Cabrera has powered the Marlins to the top of NL East. Florida will try to remain atop the division when they continue their three-game set against the Montreal Expos at San Juan.

Cabrera is proving that his post season success at the plate last season wasn’t a fluke. The 20-year-old slugger homered twice, and Brad Penny allowed only two hits in the Florida Marlins’ 5-0 victory over the Montreal Expos on Tuesday night.

“I’m taking good swings at the ball. But it’s a long season, come talk to me after 70 or 80 games,” Cabrera said.

The second-year player does not want to get caught up in the talk of his hot streak, reminding everyone the Marlins have played only seven games—winning six, for the best record in the league.

“I’m a rookie this year, too,” he said.

Cabrera hit solo homers in the first and sixth innings, and had an RBI single in the third. He finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a walk.

“He’s going to be a superstar,” Penny said. “I’m going to be watching TV one day and say, ‘I played with that guy’.”

Manager Jack McKeon agreed with his pitcher and said Cabrera is mature beyond his years.

“He’s one of those unique guys who come by once in a while,” McKeon said.

Florida will have another of its young talents on display on Wednesday when lefty Dontrelle Willis takes the mound.

Willis picked up where he left off last season by pitching Florida to a 3-0 win over Montreal in his first start on Thursday. The 22-year-old left-hander held the Expos to five hits while striking out eight over 7 2-3 nnings.

Montreal is last in the majors in batting average, slugging percentage and runs scored.

The Expos have been shut out twice already and have scored two runs in the last three games.

Outfielder Brad Wilkerson has been struggling to put the ball in play. Wilkerson is hitting .100 (2-for-20) with nine strikeouts and one extra base hit.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Willis Mil vs. T. Ohka Tor
10-11 Record 3-7
4.02 ERA 3.40
139 K 38
61 BB 20
1.38 WHIP 1.39