New York at Florida

N.Y. Mets
W: D. Willis (7-8) L: A. Heilman (1-4)
S: J. Borowski (22)
HR: NYM - None   FLA - M. Jacobs (15)

Cabrera clears bases in eighth, Marlins take series from Mets

CBS wire reports

MIAMI -- Angry after giving up a run, Dontrelle Willis shouted at the plate umpire as he walked off the mound. One inning later, he threw a celebratory roundhouse punch as he skipped to the dugout.

And when Miguel Cabrera delivered the tiebreaking hit, Willis leaped off the bench to lead the cheers.

Energizing a team that keeps defying expectations, Willis pitched eight innings Thursday night to outduel Pedro Martinez and help the Florida Marlins beat the New York Mets 4-1.

The Marlins were widely projected to lose 100 games this season, but their latest victory left them only four games behind NL wild-card leader Cincinnati and Arizona. Florida won two of three games from the NL East-leading Mets.

"If we can win every series, that's big. We have to gain ground," Willis said. "But we're not talking about the wild card. We're just talking about winning."

Cabrera's three-run double broke a tie with two outs in the eighth inning, giving Willis (7-8) his first victory since July 7. The left-hander retired the side in order only once but limited New York to an unearned run in eight innings.

Florida's Mike Jacobs broke a scoreless tie with a two-out homer in the sixth, his 15th.

"This series has probably had the most emotion for us this year," Jacobs said. "We're playing the first-place team in our division; we definitely feel like we can play with anybody in this league."

Miguel Olivo singled off Aaron Heilman (1-4) to start the eighth and advanced on a sacrifice. Hanley Ramirez and Jacobs walked to load the bases.

Cabrera then pulled a pitch into the left field corner, and all three runners scored. Jacobs was safe at the plate when he kicked the ball out of catcher Paul Lo Duca's glove.

"I had to get the hit for Dontrelle, because he pitched a great game," Cabrera said.

Heilman was pitching for the third straight night since setup man Duaner Sanchez suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in a taxi accident Sunday.

"I thought I made a pretty good pitch to Cabrera," Heilman said. "You try to put it behind you as quick as possible and move on."

The crowd of 24,097 again included plenty of transplanted New Yorkers who frequently chanted "Let's go, Mets!" But the Marlins, accustomed to skimpy crowds, didn't mind.

"It's just neat to see the stands filled up," Jacobs said.

While the Mets bring out big crowds in Miami, they also bring out the best in Willis, who improved to 10-2 against them. He allowed seven hits and three walks but was helped by three double plays.

He showed a rare flash of anger in the seventh after allowing the Mets' only run. Willis thought he had Julio Franco struck out on consecutive pitches before giving up the single, and after the inning he argued at length with umpire Mike Reilly.

"It's the first time all year I've seen him upset like that. And that's OK," Marlins manager Joe Girardi said.

"He has a lot of energy. He brings a great presence and a lot of excitement to the ballpark. He uses his emotion to his benefit sometimes. And I thought that's as good a game as he has pitched all year."

Joe Borowski pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 25 chances.

Martinez, making his second start after missing a month with an inflamed right hip, pitched six innings before he departed for a pinch hitter trailing 1-0. He gave up four hits, walked none, struck out nine and threw 100 pitches.

He regretted only the cutter he threw down the middle to Jacobs.

"I guess God made life simple and easy for us, and we complicate it ourselves by making mistakes," Martinez said. "I felt pretty good. I'm just trying to get back on track and give myself some stamina."

New York's run came in the seventh. Franco, pinch hitting for Martinez, hit a one-hop single that handcuffed right fielder Jeremy Hermida, who let the ball get past him for an error. Franco continued to third and scored on Jose Reyes' groundout.

But for the most part, Willis was helped by his defense. New York had runners at the corners with one out in the fourth and fifth innings, and nifty glove work rescued the left-hander both times.

In the fourth, Cabrera made a nice pickup at third base to start an inning-ending double play, and second baseman Dan Uggla did the same in the fifth with a diving stop.

"Our double plays probably saved two runs," Girardi said.


  • Willis won his only previous matchup against Martinez last September.
  • Martinez is 17 strikeouts shy of 3,000.
  • Mets 3B David Wright was 4-for-23 on their trip before he singled in successive at-bats.
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.
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Is that an evil grin on the face of Miguel Cabrera after he drives in the go-ahead runs? It might be.  (AP)
Is that an evil grin on the face of Miguel Cabrera after he drives in the go-ahead runs? It might be. (AP)

Players of the Game

M. Cabrera
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

D. Willis
IP 8.0
H 7
ER 0
BB 3
K 5

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Paul Lo Duca, C4000012
Carlos Beltran, CF3000101
Carlos Delgado, 1B3000121
David Wright, 3B4020003
Jose Valentin, 2B4030010
Chris Woodward, LF3000004
   a- Endy Chavez, PH1000000
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Pedro Martinez, P1000011
   b- Julio Franco, PH1110000
    Roberto Hernandez, P0000000
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a-lined out for Woodward in the 9th
b-singled for P. Martinez in the 7th
2B - Lastings Milledge (, Willis)
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Team LOB - 7
New York Mets
Pedro Martinez 6411091
Roberto Hernandez 1000000
Aaron Heilman (L,-) 1233210
Pitches-Strikes - Pedro Martinez 100-71, Roberto Hernandez 14-9, Aaron Heilman 17-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Pedro Martinez 2-7, Roberto Hernandez 3-0, Aaron Heilman 2-0
Batters Faced - Pedro Martinez 22, Roberto Hernandez 3, Aaron Heilman 7
Florida Marlins
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    Wes Helms, 1B0000000
Miguel Cabrera, 3B4023001
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    Joe Borowski, P0000000
Jeremy Hermida, RF3010011
Cody Ross, CF-LF3000001
Miguel Olivo, C3110011
Dontrelle Willis, P2000000
   a- Alfredo Amezaga, PH-CF0000000
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Willis in the 8th
2B - Dan Uggla (, P. Martinez), Miguel Cabrera (, Heilman), Jeremy Hermida (, P. Martinez)
HR - Mike Jacobs (, P. Martinez)
SH - Alfredo Amezaga ()
RBI - Mike Jacobs (), Miguel Cabrera 3 ()
2-OUT RBI - Mike Jacobs (), Miguel Cabrera 3 ()
Team LOB - 4
DP - Cabrera-Uggla-Jacobs, Uggla-H. Ramirez-Jacobs, Willis-H. Ramirez-Jacobs
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Dontrelle Willis (W,-) 8710350
Joe Borowski (S,) 1000020
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Game Information
Attendance - 24097
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Andy Fletcher