MIAMI (AP)—A.J. Burnett threw 103 pitches Tuesday, and not one of them was ball four.
Showing uncharacteristic control, Burnett pitched the Florida Marlins’ third complete game of the season, and their fickle offense came alive against perennial patsy Randy Wolf to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2.
Burnett, who has averaged more than four bases on balls per nine innings in his career, didn’t walk a batter.
“How about that?” he said. “It’s different, but I’ll take it. It was a weird game. I felt so strong, and I had no strikeouts until the sixth inning. I made them hit the ball.”
Mike Lowell and Paul Lo Duca hit two-run homers off Wolf, and Miguel Cabrera hit a solo homer and drove in two runs. The Marlins have outscored opponents 34-2 in their four wins, and they’ve totaled just six runs in four losses.
Wolf (0-1) failed to hold a 2-0 lead and fell to 2-11 against the Marlins with an ERA of 5.76. No team has beaten him more.
“I’m confident that one day it will turn in my favor,” the left-hander said. “It has more to do with me than it does them. I’m beating myself. If I make good pitches, we win.”
Wolf allowed seven hits and five runs in six innings.
Burnett (1-1) followed the example of teammates Dontrelle Willis and Josh Beckett, who threw complete games in the first week of the season. Helped by three early double plays, he struck out three and tamed a Phillies offense that was leading the NL in runs.
The nine-inning complete game was Burnett’s first since Aug. 18, 2002, before he underwent reconstructive elbow surgery.
“Probably the best game I’ve seen him pitch since I’ve been here,” said the Marlins’ third-year manager, Jack McKeon. “He did a superb job staying in front and getting guys to make early contact. He’s gradually learning some things out there.”
The same Burnett walked nine when he threw a no-hitter at San Diego in 2001. This time he was so economical with his pitches that he was throwing 97 mph in the ninth inning.
“That was impressive,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “That’s what you call a lot of talent. He threw a lot of cheese, and he also kept the ball in play. They have some very good starters on that staff, and he’s definitely a horse.”
Florida’s team ERA rose to 1.52, still best in the major leagues.
The Phillies’ Pat Burrell went 1-for-4, and for the first time this season he failed to drive in a run. He leads the majors with 17 RBIs.
Lowell homered on a changeup in the fourth to make the score 2-all. Florida then loaded the bases before Wolf escaped by striking out Burnett with the 41st pitch of the inning.
Juan Pierre doubled to start the fifth, advanced on a sacrifice and scored on Cabrera’s groundout to put the Marlins ahead to stay, 3-2.
Lowell walked to start the sixth, and Lo Duca followed with his first homer of the year on his 33rd birthday. The Marlins scored for the fifth inning in a row on Pierre’s two-run triple in the eighth.
The Phillies’ Jim Thome singled leading off the second and came home from third with two outs when Burnett threw a curve in the dirt for a wild pitch.
“The ball shouldn’t have gotten by me,” Lo Duca said. “He should have only given up one run.”
Philadelphia’s other run scored in the fourth on Bobby Abreu’s single.
After losing a game last week with his pants legs pulled down low, Burnett hiked them back up, reverting to the high black stockings that have been his trademark. Then he beat the Phillies for only the third time in 10 career starts.
“The pants had nothing to do with it,” Burnett said. “But I’ll wear them up the rest of the season.”
Florida SS Alex Gonzalez left the game in the fourth inning with a tight left hamstring. He’ll be given the day off Wednesday, manager Jack McKeon said, but Gonzalez said he expects to be back in the lineup after that. … Florida’s Luis Castillo ended his hitless streak at 17 at-bats when he doubled in the first. … Marlins RF Juan Encarnacion has eight RBIs—all on two grand slams. … For the first time, Florida won when the opponent scored. The Marlins’ other three victories came in shutouts. … Burrell has at least one hit in every game.