Colorado at Florida

W: D. Willis (6-0) L: J. Kennedy (1-4)
HR: COL - None   FLA - None

Willis whiffs 10, jumps to 6-0 with win over Rockies

CBS wire reports

MIAMI -- Dontrelle Willis stayed undefeated, and the Colorado Rockies remained awful.

Willis became the major leagues' first six-game winner, allowing five hits in seven innings to help the Florida Marlins beat Colorado 7-0 Friday.

"Every time he goes on the mound, we feel like he's going to win," Marlins slugger Miguel Cabrera said. "I want him to pitch every day."

The Rockies have baseball's worst record at 6-20, and their nine-game losing streak matches the third-longest in franchise history. They're 1-14 on the road.

"These are definitely hard times," said five-time All-Star Todd Helton, who struck out all three times he faced Willis. "All we can do is come to the yard, battle our butts off and see what happens."

Adding to Colorado's woes, left-hander Joe Kennedy (1-4) limped out of the game trailing 1-0 after a sharp one-hop grounder deflected off his left leg below the ankle in the sixth inning. X-rays were negative, but Kennedy said he might miss his next start.

Paul Lo Duca hit reliever Jay Witasick's first pitch for a two-run single and a 3-0 lead.

Florida scored three more times in the inning, and that was plenty for Willis, who tied a career high with 10 strikeouts. The left-hander has won every start this season, and his ERA of 1.07 is the lowest in the majors.

"I felt strong," Willis said. "I was able to stay down in the zone. That's my key, because I don't throw 100 mph. I can't live up in the zone. In all my starts I've been trying to stay down, and hopefully they swing at it."

Willis threw 110 pitches, 80 for strikes. He walked two, matching his season high, and improved to 4-0 at home with an 0.58 ERA.

"He has been outstanding," manager Jack McKeon said. "He has so much confidence right now."

The Rockies' best threat came in the fourth, when they loaded the bases with one out. Willis struck out Dustan Mohr and retired Luis Gonzalez on a flyout.

"He's off to a great start," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He has fun out there, and they respond to him."

The game, the Marlins' first since their latest bid for a new ballpark was rejected by the Florida Legislature, drew a crowd of 21,566.

Florida took the lead in the second. Cabrera walked, advanced on a groundout and an infield single, then came home on Mike Lowell's sacrifice fly, beating the throw with a nifty slide.

Cabrera led off the sixth with a single, and Juan Encarnacion drilled a single off Kennedy.

"It was my instinct," Kennedy said. "I put my foot down for the kick save."

He scrambled to retrieve the ball and threw as he was falling backward. The errant heave sailed over first baseman Helton's head, and runners advanced to second and third as Kennedy remained on his back in pain.

After being checked by a trainer, Kennedy rose and was helped off the field. He was charged with three runs in five-plus innings and has lost all five career starts against Florida.

After Lo Duca's single made the score 3-0, Juan Pierre walked with the bases loaded against Witasick, and Luis Castillo's two-run single put the Marlins ahead 6-0.

"They're an elite team," Hurdle said. "They've got horses in the starting rotation."

With Willis' performance, Florida starters lowered their ERA to 2.55, best in the majors.


  • 3B Lowell made a bad throw for his first error of the season.
  • Willis last faced Colorado in his major league debut in May 2003 in Miami. He pitched six innings and wasn't involved in the decision.
  • Kennedy is 0-4 on the road with an ERA of 8.31.
  • Byung-Hyun Kim let in a run in the seventh when he threw a wild pitch. He has five in 13 innings.
  • Chasing a foul ball that fell untouched, RF Mohr ran into a security guard. Neither was hurt.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Closer Brian Moehler slams the door on the Rockies by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.  (AP)
Closer Brian Moehler slams the door on the Rockies by pitching a scoreless ninth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Encarnacion
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0

D. Willis
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 2
K 10

Related Video

Colorado Rockies
Clint Barmes, SS4010011 .386
Garrett Atkins, 3B4000003 .269
Todd Helton, 1B4000030 .281
Preston Wilson, CF4010010 .236
Todd Greene, C3020110 .286
Matt Holliday, LF3000102 .268
Dustan Mohr, RF4000034 .136
Luis Gonzalez, 2B3010104 .250
Joe Kennedy, P2000021 .154
    Jay Witasick, P0000000 .000
    Brian Fuentes, P0000000 .000
   a- Michael Restovich, PH1000000 .321
    Byung-Hyun Kim, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Fuentes in the 7th
2B - Luis Gonzalez (3, Willis)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Gonzalez-Barmes-Helton
E - Joe Kennedy (2, throwing error)
Colorado Rockies
Joe Kennedy (L,1-4) 5733230 7.56
Jay Witasick 0.1333100 13.50
Brian Fuentes 0.2000000 3.55
Byung-Hyun Kim 2211230 7.62
HBP - Pierre (by Byung-Hyun Kim)
WP - Joe Kennedy (3), Byung-Hyun Kim (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Kennedy 95-65, Jay Witasick 26-16, Brian Fuentes 5-4, Byung-Hyun Kim 49-29
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Kennedy 7-4, Jay Witasick 2-0, Byung-Hyun Kim 1-2
Batters Faced - Joe Kennedy 23, Jay Witasick 6, Brian Fuentes 2, Byung-Hyun Kim 11
Florida Marlins
Juan Pierre, CF3011100 .275
Luis Castillo, 2B4022113 .293
Carlos Delgado, 1B5010004 .316
Miguel Cabrera, LF4210113 .366
    Brian Moehler, P0000000 .000
Juan Encarnacion, RF5230011 .287
Paul Lo Duca, C5022003 .345
Mike Lowell, 3B2121100 .213
Alex Gonzalez, SS3100025 .235
Dontrelle Willis, P3100013 .158
   a- Jeff Conine, PH0000100 .238
    Nate Bump, P0000000 .000
    Chris Aguila, LF0000000 .200
a-walked for Willis in the 7th
2B - Carlos Delgado (11, Kim), Juan Encarnacion (7, Kim)
SF - Mike Lowell (2)
SH - Alex Gonzalez (2)
RBI - Juan Pierre (7), Luis Castillo 2 (6), Paul Lo Duca 2 (13), Mike Lowell (9)
Team LOB - 11
DP - Castillo-A. Gonzalez-Delgado
E - Mike Lowell (1, throwing error)
Florida Marlins
Dontrelle Willis (W,6-0) 75002100 1.07
Nate Bump 1000000 1.76
Brian Moehler 1000110 2.19
Pitches-Strikes - Dontrelle Willis 110-80, Nate Bump 17-10, Brian Moehler 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dontrelle Willis 7-4, Nate Bump 3-0, Brian Moehler 1-1
Batters Faced - Dontrelle Willis 28, Nate Bump 3, Brian Moehler 4
Game Information
Attendance - 21566
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Bruce Froemming