Dominant starting pitching has been the key to Florida’s success early on.
Beckett, who is 7-4 with a 3.13 ERA, has allowed three runs or less in 11 of his 13 starts.
The hard-throwing righty was roughed up for eight runs—seven earned—and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings of an 8-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Thursday. The 25-year-old Beckett lost at home for the first time in six decisions this season.
The Marlins won the series opener 9-1 behind another strong outing by Willis. He pitched seven strong innings to become the first 11-game winner in the majors.
Willis gave up one run and seven hits, struck out five and walked none. He also had two hits and drove in a run in the fifth, when Florida broke open the game with seven runs.
“He’s the stopper, the savior and everything else,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “I don’t care whether we start him or DH him.”
The Cubs have lost two straight to fall to 3-3 on their eight-game homestand.
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez went 2-for-4 with an RBI double Monday to raise his batting average to .284. Ramirez is hitting .357 (15-for-42) in 11 games this month after hitting just .241 in April and .289 in May.