Burnett made his first start in nearly 13 months Thursday and lost to the New York Mets 4-1. Despite the outcome, Burnett was very encouraged.
“I felt good,” he said. “I definitely got better as I went along. For a first time out, I felt healthy. It was a pleasure to be out there, an honor. I haven’t done it in a long time and it was fun.”
The right-hander worked four innings, giving up two runs and five hits.
“He did a good job, I thought,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “He threw too many pitches. He was getting behind too many guys. He threw 50 pitches in two innings. You’ve got to expect something like that the first time out. His adrenaline is up. Now we’ve got that out of the way.”
Burnett, who will be on a strict pitch count of 85 to 90, will try to help the Marlins beat the Indians for the fifth straight time. Florida won the series opener Tuesday 7-5 as Miguel Cabrera and Damion Easley each homered off the left-field foul pole with two outs in the ninth inning.
“Have you ever seen anybody hit two foul poles in one inning?” McKeon said. “I bet that’s a record.”
Cabrera tied it off Jose Jimenez with his 14th homer—a shot that ricocheted off the top of the pole. Jeff Conine walked, and Easley followed by lining a shot that hit off the pole near the top of the wall.
“Both were off the same pitch,” Jimenez said. “They were fastballs that didn’t sink.”
Both batters were surprised at the results.
“I didn’t want to make the last out and just tried to get my bat on the ball,” Cabrera said. “I didn’t know if it was fair or foul, but it hit in the right spot.”
It was the sixth consecutive game at Jacobs Field decided in a team’s final at-bat. Cleveland is 3-3 in those games, losing the last three.