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Marlins' Willis first eight-game winner in NL

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

MIAMI -- Dontrelle Willis bounced right back from his only loss of the year.

Roughed up in his previous outing, Willis pitched eight strong innings Monday night to become the first eight-game winner in the National League and lead the Florida Marlins past the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2.

Carlos Delgado and Miguel Cabrera hit consecutive homers in the sixth inning to carry Florida to its season-high fifth consecutive victory.

Willis (8-1) allowed two runs and seven hits. The left-hander won his first seven starts before getting tagged in a 14-5 loss to the Dodgers last Tuesday.

"I didn't feel like I pitched that badly in the last game," said Willis, who spotted the Dodgers four runs in the first inning after allowing six earned runs in his previous 50.

"You can call it a rebound, but I called it looking forward to my next start. That game is long over. You can't erase the scoreboard. I tried to focus on the positives tonight, and that was the key," he said.

In nine starts, Willis has a 1.55 ERA, and he's 6-0 at home with a 0.96 ERA.

"He had a very good game. He maybe wasn't as sharp as he usually is, but he has that knack of coming back and doing the job," Florida manager Jack McKeon said.

Delgado and Cabrera each extended their hitting streaks to 12 games. Todd Jones worked the ninth for his seventh save in eight opportunities.

Jon Lieber (5-4) matched Willis pitch for pitch and carried a 1-0 lead into the sixth before serving up the home runs to Delgado and Cabrera.

The NL East-leading Marlins had a run taken away in that inning, when they put runners on first and second with one out. Paul Lo Duca hit a tapper not far from the plate, but was called out for running inside the baseline when Lieber's throw hit him in the back and deflected away.

But Florida was only temporarily kept off the scoreboard.

Delgado's three-run shot to right put the Marlins ahead 3-1, and Cabrera sent Lieber's next pitch over the wall in left to make it 4-1. It was the seventh home run of the year for Delgado, and the ninth for Cabrera.

Delgado finished 3-for-4, and Cabrera had two hits.

"Lo Duca was just trying to get on base and keep the inning going," Delgado said. "I tried to stay calm and just go up there and get a hit. I feel like I'm driving the ball better now in these last few games."

Willis, who struck out four and walked two, escaped trouble in the seventh by striking out pinch-hitter Jim Thome with runners on second and third.

The Phillies loaded the bases against Willis in the fourth with one out. David Bell's sacrifice fly scored Bobby Abreu for a 1-0 lead.

Lieber allowed four runs and six hits in six innings, dropping his third start in a row.

"It's all about making pitches. Obviously I haven't been doing that, and it's killing my teammates," Lieber said. "In this game, when you have two outs, you have to kill the inning, and I didn't do that tonight. I needed better command, better control in those spots."

Lo Duca argued after being called out, delaying the game for a couple minutes. Lieber, who likes to work fast, was in control to that point, but he quickly fell apart after that.

"That might have hurt him. It might have thrown his focus off," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "After that, he just made some bad pitches, he kept the ball up over the plate."

The Marlins scored another run in the seventh off Terry Adams. Mike Lowell doubled and scored on Alex Gonzalez's ground-rule double to center for a 5-1 lead.

Philadelphia closed to 5-2 in the eighth on Abreu's RBI single.

Notes

  • Marlins RHP A.J. Burnett will miss his scheduled start Thursday night against the New York Mets because of inflammation in his right elbow. Burnett felt discomfort after his last start and went to see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. "It was bothering me a bit, plus my velocity wasn't there," Burnett said. "I don't think it's a big deal, though."
  • The game drew an announced crowd of 11,944, the low turnout partly a result of the Heat-Pistons NBA matchup in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
  • The Phillies are 6-17 at Florida since the start of the 2003 season.
  • Thome is 3-for-22 lifetime against Willis with 11 strikeouts.
 
Copyright 2014 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.
 
 
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Dontrelle Willis rebounds from his only loss of the year with an impressive eight-inning performance.  (AP)
Dontrelle Willis rebounds from his only loss of the year with an impressive eight-inning performance. (AP)

Players of the Game
Florida

C. Delgado
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Florida

A. Gonzalez
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Philadelphia Phillies
Jason Michaels, CF4120000 .289
Placido Polanco, 2B4000001 .256
Bobby Abreu, RF4121021 .331
Pat Burrell, LF3000112 .311
Jimmy Rollins, SS4020001 .242
David Bell, 3B2001001 .247
   a- Kenny Lofton, PH1000010 .383
Tomas Perez, 1B4000003 .283
Mike Lieberthal, C3020100 .239
Jon Lieber, P2000001 .000
   b- Jim Thome, PH1000012 .193
    Terry Adams, P0000000 .000
    Aaron Fultz, P0000000 .000
    Robinson Tejeda, P0000000 .000
   c- Endy Chavez, PH1000001 .226
Totals332822513 
a-struck out for Bell in the 9th
b-struck out for Lieber in the 7th
c-hit into fielder's choice for Tejeda in the 9th
Batting
2B - Mike Lieberthal (6, Willis)
SF - David Bell (1)
RBI - Bobby Abreu (36), David Bell (12)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Bell-Polanco-T. Perez
Philadelphia Phillies
Jon Lieber (L,5-4) 6644042 4.20
Terry Adams 0.1211010 12.83
Aaron Fultz 1100010 1.53
Robinson Tejeda 0.2100110 0.00
IBB - Encarnacion by Robinson Tejeda
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lieber 87-56, Terry Adams 14-11, Aaron Fultz 13-10, Robinson Tejeda 21-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lieber 7-6, Aaron Fultz 1-1
Batters Faced - Jon Lieber 23, Terry Adams 3, Aaron Fultz 4, Robinson Tejeda 4
Florida Marlins
Juan Pierre, CF4110002 .265
Paul Lo Duca, C4000012 .315
Carlos Delgado, 1B4133010 .324
Miguel Cabrera, LF4121011 .375
Juan Encarnacion, RF3000100 .268
Mike Lowell, 3B4110023 .196
Damion Easley, 2B4000014 .233
Alex Gonzalez, SS3021010 .276
Dontrelle Willis, P3110002 .154
    Todd Jones, P0000000 .000
Totals3351051714 
Batting
2B - Miguel Cabrera (11, Tejeda), Mike Lowell (13, Adams), Alex Gonzalez (9, Adams)
HR - Carlos Delgado (7, Lieber), Miguel Cabrera (9, Lieber)
RBI - Carlos Delgado 3 (28), Miguel Cabrera (31), Alex Gonzalez (17)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Delgado 3 (9), Miguel Cabrera (12)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Lowell-A. Gonzalez-Easley
Florida Marlins
Dontrelle Willis (W,8-1) 8722240 1.55
Todd Jones (S,7) 1100010 1.31
Pitches-Strikes - Dontrelle Willis 104-67, Todd Jones 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dontrelle Willis 9-10, Todd Jones 1-1
Batters Faced - Dontrelle Willis 32, Todd Jones 4
Game Information
Attendance - 11944
Game Time - 2:21
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Larry Young