MIAMI — Balmy sea breeze is just what the Miami Marlins needed to snap their slump and beat Josh Beckett.
Some heat from Josh Johnson helped, too.
Desperate for a turnaround, the Marlins opened their retractable roof for the first time in nearly two months Monday night, took to the outdoor setting and snapped a six-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over Beckett and the Boston Red Sox.
Johnson outpitched his former teammate, and rookie Donovan Solano drove in two runs as the Marlins improved to 1-6 on their homestand. They’re 3-2 with the roof of their new ballpark open.
The Red Sox, last in the AL East, lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Beckett (4-7), the Marlins’ postseason star when they won the World Series in 2003, pitched against them for the first time. He fell behind 4-0 after two innings but didn’t allow another hit, retiring 14 in a row. He departed for a pinch hitter after seven innings.
Johnson (4-4) also went seven innings, allowing four hits and one run. Heath Bell completed a five-hitter by striking out the side for his 13th save in 17 chances.
To change their luck, the Marlins opened the retractable roof on their new ballpark for the first time since April 18. President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest came up with the idea.
“He said, ‘We can’t trade for 25 guys, so let’s open the roof,'” team president David Samson said. “This is our version of a slump buster.”
On an unusually mild June evening, with low humidity and a temperature of 79 at game time, the Marlins played better from the start. They scored three times in the first inning to lead for only the second time since the homestand began.
Solano, in the lineup because manager Ozzie Guillen gave second baseman Omar Infante the night off, had a hit and drove in two runs. He’s batting .455. Gaby Sanchez singled for his second RBI in as many games since being recalled from Triple-A. The Marlins went 2 for 3 with runners in scoring position after going 5 for 50 in those situations previously during the homestand.
Johnson needed 27 pitches to get through the first inning. After the first two batters reached he settled down, retiring 11 in a row during one stretch before Scott Podsednik singled in the sixth. Podsednik later scored on a sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzalez.
Johnson earned an assist when he inadvertently kicked Kevin Youkilis’ sharp one-hopper to shortstop Jose Reyes for a 1-6-3 out.
Reyes led off the first with a triple and scored on Solano’s sacrifice fly. Giancarlo Stanton singled and scored from first when Logan Morrison doubled and right fielder Gonzalez bobbled the ball for an error. Sanchez followed with a run-scoring single.
Solano had a two-out RBI single in the second inning off Beckett, who fell to 0-3 in his past four starts.
NOTES: Red Sox OF Daniel Nava (sore left hand) again sat out. … Boston OF Cody Ross, sidelined since May 18 with a broken bone in his left foot, is scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment Thursday with Triple-A Pawtucket. … Marlins LHP Mark Buehrle, scheduled to start Tuesday, has a chance to tie Kenny Rogers’ record of 11 consecutive wins in interleague games. … The video scoreboard showed highlights of the Heat’s victory over the Celtics in the NBA Eastern Conference finals, which drew boos from Red Sox fans in the crowd.
Yankees 3, Braves 0
ATLANTA — Ivan Nova combined with four relievers on a five-hitter and the New York Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves 3-0 on Monday night to claim a share of first place in the AL East for the first time in seven weeks.
Raul Ibanez led off the second inning with a homer and Robinson Cano had two hits, including a run-scoring single in the first. The surging Yankees climbed into a tie with idle Tampa Bay for the division lead, their first return to first place since April 24.
The Yankees (35-25) have won four straight games and nine of 11 to move a season-best 10 games over .500. The Braves, held without an extra-base hit, have lost two straight after their season-best six-game winning streak.
Nova (8-2) gave up five hits with one walk and six strikeouts in seven innings for his fourth straight win. He added a milestone with a second-inning single for his first career hit.
Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada combined for three straight outs in the eighth. Cory Wade struck out Martin Prado to open the ninth and left-hander Boone Logan recorded the final two outs.
Randall Delgado (4-6) set a career-high with six walks as he allowed three runs and five hits in five innings. The control problems pushed up his pitch count early. He threw 66 pitches while giving up a run in each of the first three innings.
Cano’s first-inning single drove in Alex Rodriguez, who doubled off the wall in left. Rodriguez walked in the third, moved to third on Cano’s double and scored on Delgado’s wild pitch.
Atlanta’s leadoff hitters had singles in four of the first five innings. None advanced past second base as Nova was helped by double plays in the first and third innings.
Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher took a possible homer away from Brian McCann in the fourth. Swisher reached up to snap McCann’s fly ball in front of the yellow line at the top of the wall. It was McCann’s second long out. His first-inning drive was caught at the 400-foot mark in centerfield by Curtis Granderson.
Braves centerfielder Michael Bourn, running toward left field, made a diving catch to take a hit from Ibanez in the seventh.
Right-hander Cory Gearrin threw two scoreless innings for Atlanta after he was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.