….or failing that, vs. Josh Beckett.

Baltimore’s Nick Markakis has doubled, singled twice and scored a pair of runs tonight, as the O’s lead the Red Sox, 5-2 at Fenway in the last of the 5th.

Florida’s Josh Willingham singled to lead off the top of the 7th tonight at RFK, breaking up a combined no-no by 3 Nats hurlers (Shawn Hill, Winston Abreu, Saul Rivera).  Washington holds a 4-0 advantage after 6 1/2 innings.

Pat Burrell has hit a pair of homers off the Cubs’ Rich Hill tonight, with the Phillies leading 5-2 in the middle of the 7th.  Philly’s Cole Hamels has served up solo shots to Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez, respectively.

Oakland signed 1B/OF Nick Swisher to a 5 year, $26.75 million contract extension on Friday, a deal that should represent a bargain for the A’s if Swisher continues to provide the sort of production he did in 2006.  With today’s pact, Oakland now has their core of Swisher, Eric Chavez, Dan Haren and Bobby Crosby all locked up through 2009 or longer.