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Burnett too tough for Nationals to tame

July 31, 2005

MIAMI (AP) - For more than a month, with the trade deadline looming, A.J. Burnett has endured speculation regarding where he might be headed.

Baltimore? Boston? The Chicago White Sox?

"Tonight I'm going to South Beach to have dinner with my wife," Burnett said Saturday.

He had reason to celebrate after pitching seven innings to win his third start in a row and help the Florida Marlins beat the slumping Washington Nationals, 3-0.

Beyond his night out, Burnett might not be going anywhere. With the non-waiver trade deadline today afternoon, general manager Larry Beinfest hinted the right-hander will remain with the Marlins the rest of the season.

"I would not anticipate any major changes to this team," Beinfest said. "We like this ballclub. We always did, and I think we're seeing it all come together right now. Any deal I anticipate would be an enhancement."

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The Marlins extended their winning streak to four games by beating the Nationals, who have lost a season-high six consecutive games and 18 of 23.

John Patterson (4-3) was almost as good as Burnett, limiting Florida to five hits in six innings, but he threw wild pitches to help Paul Lo Duca score twice.

"Patterson certainly deserved better," manager Frank Robinson said.

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