Miami (45-46) at Arizona (46-49)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 80° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Tue Jul 19, 2005
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A.J. Burnett makes what could be his final start with the Florida Marlins when they continue a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Burnett will be a free agent after the season, making him a prime candidate for Florida to deal. Baltimore and the New York Yankees are reportedly among the interested teams in the 28-year-old.

“It doesn’t matter, man,” said Burnett about the trade rumors. “If I go, I go. If I stay, I stay. It’s out of my control. You block all that out. You make pitches. I like pitching here.”

The right-hander is 0-1 with a 7.04 ERA over his last three outings. Burnett gave up six runs and six hits—including three homers—and suffered the loss in a 13-7 defeat at Philadelphia last Thursday.

Burnett is 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA in three career outings against Arizona. He is 4-4 with a 3.79 ERA in 11 road starts this season.

“I’m trying my hardest to think about these Diamondback hitters,” Burnett said.

Burnett is not the only player on the block. Third baseman Mike Lowell is hearing similar rumors about his name—Lowell has raised his average to .232 after hitting .200 over the first two months of the season.

“I’m at peace with whatever happens,” Lowell said. “I actually heard there was a done deal (in 2003), but what’s a done deal?”

Arizona pulled out an 8-7 win in 11 innings Monday to begin the series. Quinton McCracken, who entered the game in the fifth inning as part of a double-switch, capped a four-hit night with a game-winning triple in the bottom of the 11th off Florida reliever Todd Jones.

Luis Gonzalez was given a rare start off Monday for Arizona. Gonzalez, the team’s lone All-Star, went 2-for-15 in the Diamondbacks’ first four games since the All-Star break.

“He struggled a little bit again (Sunday) and he goes pretty hard on himself,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “Everybody goes through slumps, but there are times when I think days off are probably easier to take than others.”

Gonzalez struck out with the bases loaded as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning Monday.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Burnett Pit vs. J. Vazquez Mia
12-12 Record 11-15
3.44 ERA 4.42
198 K 192
79 BB 46
1.26 WHIP 1.25