Miami will oppose Beckett for the first time on Monday night, when the Red Sox and Marlins open a three-game Interleague series at Marlins Park. Beckett will oppose Josh Johnson, who made his Major League debut in September 2005, a couple of months before the Marlins dealt Beckett to the Red Sox in a six-player trade that included Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez.
"It's pretty cool," Johnson said. "The guy is a postseason legend almost. It's pretty cool."
Johnson wasn't particularly close with Beckett, but did take the opportunity to learn from him.
"He was pretty much the veteran guy here, him and [A.J.] Burnett," Johnson said, "so I followed one of them to see whatever they were doing and do that."
Beckett posted a 2.11 ERA in six games during the 2003 playoffs, including a shutout of the Yankees in the decisive sixth game of the World Series. The Red Sox and Marlins have played two series since then without Beckett taking the mound.
The veteran sports a 4.04 ERA, but has lasted at least seven innings in five straight starts, recording a 2.21 ERA in that span. On Wednesday, he lost despite holding the Orioles to two earned runs in eight innings.
"Those are eight of the best innings I've seen all year," manager Bobby Valentine said afterward. "He was efficient with great stuff, all of his pitches. ... Bottom of their lineup got some singles. He deserved better. He gave up two runs in eight innings. We'll take that every time out."
Johnson is on a roll of his own, with a 2.95 ERA in his last six outings. On Wednesday against the Braves, he tied a season high with nine strikeouts while pitching 7 2/3 innings, his most since Aug. 18, 2010.
"It's a step in the right direction," he said. "You never really have it figured out, but you can make positive steps and then move in the right direction. Last bullpen [session] was good again, so hopefully just continue that and take it into the start."
The Red Sox and Marlins are meeting for the first time since 2009, and both need a rebound series. Boston has lost six of seven games to fall into last place in the American League East, while the Marlins have dropped the first six of their nine-game homestand and sit fourth in the National League East.
Red Sox: Timing is everything
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia went 1-for-4 on Sunday, giving him three straight games with a hit following an 0-for-14 skid.
Still, Pedroia is batting .202 (17-for-84) with no home runs since May 13. His last extra-base hit came May 21.
"I feel all right. My timing's still a little off," Pedroia said after Saturday's game. "I'm a little late on the heater and a little early on offspeed pitches. I'll have one at-bat where it clicks and I take off."
Boston placed Rich Hill on the disabled list Sunday because of soreness in his left elbow and forearm, recalling Mark Melancon from Triple-A Pawtucket. That leaves Franklin Morales and Andrew Miller as the bullpen's two lefties.
Melancon did not pitch on Sunday against the Nationals.
Marlins: Sanchez returns
Miami recalled Gaby Sanchez from Triple-A New Orleans on Sunday and put him in the lineup at first base, batting sixth. Sanchez went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI in his first game with the club since it demoted him May 19, with his batting average at .197.
"I figured out a couple little things, nothing too major," said Sanchez, who hit .310 with a .494 on-base percentage at New Orleans. "Just going down there and playing and getting repetition and playing. That's it."
The Marlins made room for Sanchez at first base by shifting Logan Morrison back to left field.
Center fielder Emilio Bonifacio will have the stitches removed from his left thumb on Tuesday, following his May 25 surgery to repair a ligament. He still is two to four weeks away from returning.
Marlins hitters are 5-for-48 (.104) against Beckett. Jose Reyes, who has the most plate appearances, is 1-for-14 (.071).
Johnson's only outing against the Red Sox came in 2006. He went seven innings, earned a no-decision, and gave up three runs -- all solo homers -- in a 4-3 Marlins loss.