Florida (47-47) at San Francisco (42-53)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: San Francisco, CA, US
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 10:15 pm EDT Sat Jul 23, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The struggling Florida Marlins hope to get a boost from Josh Beckett when he returns from the disabled list to face the San Francisco Giants in the middle game of a three-game series at SBC Park.

Beckett, who is 8-6 with a 3.35 ERA, has been out since July 8 with a left oblique strain, his second stint on the DL this season. In June, Beckett missed two weeks because of a blister on his right middle finger.

“I still can feel it when I do certain things, but pitching is not one of them,” Beckett said of the oblique injury. “I’ve tested it out with two hard bullpens, so there’s nothing left to do but throw in a game, and I don’t want to go make a rehab start when we need pitching here.”

Marlins manager Jack McKeon said is hoping Beckett’s return will spark the team after a rough first half.

“He’s very important to our team,” McKeon said. “He’s definitely one of the keys to us having a second-half rebound.”

All alone in last place in the tightly packed NL East, the Marlins have dropped four of six, including an 8-5 loss in the series opener Friday.

Beckett’s top priority Saturday will be stopping San Francisco’s Pedro Felix, who homered in his third straight game Friday and drove in three runs.

The Giants, who have won five of eight since the All-Star break, had veteran third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo in the lineup Friday for the first time in six weeks.

Alfonzo, who drove in two runs, had been out since straining his left quad during a 5-3 loss to Cleveland on June 12.

Alfonzo is hitting .306 with two homers and 32 RBIs this year.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Beckett LAD vs. B. Hennessey HOU
15-8 Record 5-8
3.38 ERA 4.64
166 K 64
58 BB 52
1.18 WHIP 1.51