Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
  • My Scores
  • Golf
  • NCAA FB
  • NHL
  • MLB
  • NFL

Florida at Washington

Scoreboard
Florida100000100291
Washington «20101001x591

Nats strand 14 runners but sneak by shaky Dontrelle, Fish

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

WASHINGTON -- Dontrelle Willis kept helping the Washington Nationals put runners on base, then helping them come around to score.

He gave up one run on a wild pitch and another on a throwing error, generosity the Nationals needed, given that they went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 14 men on in all.

The Nationals managed to scratch out a 5-2 victory over the lackluster Willis and the Florida Marlins on Wednesday night, thanks in part to Nationals starter Ramon Ortiz working in and out of trouble into the seventh inning.

"It was bad luck, and a combination of a lot of things," said Willis, who's 7-9 a year after finishing second in the NL Cy Young Award voting. "But even with me struggling, we still had a chance to win the game."

That's true: Ortiz (9-9) had one 1-2-3 inning, yet somehow managed to be tagged for just one earned run despite eight hits, a wild pitch and a hit batter. The Marlins were about as efficient in the clutch as the Nationals, going 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and leaving 10 men aboard.

Ortiz was effective with his slider and by working the inside part of the plate -- all in a game called by a catcher making his major league debut, Brandon Harper, who doubled in the second inning in his first at-bat.

"It's always good to get that first one out of the way -- help me relax a little bit," said Harper, finally in the majors after more than 2,000 at-bats in the minors since 1997.

Rookie Ryan Zimmerman had two hits, two walks and scored three runs for the Nationals, who had lost three consecutive games and seven of 10. Alex Escobar drove in two runs with sacrifice flies.

"Thank goodness for Escobar -- at least we got two in from third base," Washington manager Frank Robinson said.

Washington could have scored plenty more, when you consider that Willis allowed eight hits and five walks, hit a batter and threw two wild pitches. And there's this: Marlins relievers tacked on six more walks. And this: The Nationals put their first batter on base in every inning.

"People will say, 'You won the ballgame, what are you crying about?' But you have to understand that if you take advantage of the opportunities you have, it's an easier game for you," Robinson said. "The way it was, we were fighting for our lives at the end of the ballgame."

Willis was charged with four runs -- three earned -- as he labored through 114 pitches over 5 1/3 innings. Both wild pitches came in the first inning, and one allowed Alfonso Soriano to trot home. Willis gave up another run in the first on a fielder's choice groundout, one in the third on an Escobar flyout, and one in the fifth after loading the bases with two walks and a single. That last run came when Willis' throw on a comebacker pulled catcher Miguel Olivo off the plate.

"He got in trouble. He wasn't hitting his spots," said Washington's Felipe Lopez, whose single in the sixth was it for Willis.

A batter earlier, manager Joe Girardi and a trainer visited Willis on the mound because the left-hander indicated he was having trouble squeezing his pitching hand. But Willis said he was OK, and stayed in briefly.

"He hasn't been able to sustain it this year," Girardi said. "I know he's frustrated with it. Sometimes things just don't go your way. You're the same guy, you prepare the same way every day, and sometimes you just don't find that rhythm."

Willis is 1-2 with a 4.59 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break.

Robinson's assessment: "He hasn't been as good or as sharp this year as he has in the past."

While the Marlins have a rotation filled out by promising rookies, the Nationals have been pressed to find five healthy starters. Now, with staff ace Livan Hernandez gone via trade, and No. 2 starter John Patterson out injured, Ortiz has become the De facto anchor.

He leads the Nationals in wins, and is 3-0 with a 3.96 ERA in his last four starts. When he walked off the field to a standing ovation with two on in the seventh, the slender right-hander tipped his cap.

"Right now, he's the best pitcher we have on the team," Soriano said. "I hope he continues pitching like that."

Notes

  • Nationals LHP Micah Bowie left after facing three batters in the seventh with a mild strain in his upper back, and Robinson said he's probably going to need a few days.
  • Washington closer Chad Cordero pitched the ninth for his 20th save.
 
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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis tries to cool off after giving up four runs on 114 pitches.   (Getty Images)
Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis tries to cool off after giving up four runs on 114 pitches. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Washington

R. Zimmerman
AB 3
R 3
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Washington

R. Ortiz
IP 6.2
H 8
ER 1
BB 0
K 6
 
Florida Marlins
Alfredo Amezaga, CF5110013 .276
Dan Uggla, 2B4010011 .291
Mike Jacobs, 1B4011000 .282
    Reggie Abercrombie, PR0000000 .213
    Randy Messenger, P0000000 .000
    Renyel Pinto, P0000000 .000
   a- Joe Borchard, PH1000001 .228
Miguel Cabrera, 3B3020101 .334
Josh Willingham, LF3000023 .255
    Matt Herges, P0000000 .000
   b- Wes Helms, PH-1B1000003 .282
Jeremy Hermida, RF4010001 .268
Hanley Ramirez, SS4010011 .266
Miguel Olivo, C4120002 .286
Dontrelle Willis, P2000013 .095
    Cody Ross, LF2000021 .236
Totals372911820 
a-popped out for Pinto in the 9th
b-flied out for Herges in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jeremy Hermida (17, Ortiz), Miguel Olivo (16, Ortiz)
RBI - Mike Jacobs (57)
SB - Hanley Ramirez (34, 2nd base off Ortiz/Harper)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Uggla-H. Ramirez-Jacobs
E - Dontrelle Willis (5, )
Florida Marlins
Dontrelle Willis (L,7-9) 5.1843560 4.08
Matt Herges 0.2000100 4.03
Randy Messenger 0.1100100 4.60
Renyel Pinto 1.2011430 3.68
HBP - Harper (by Dontrelle Willis)
WP - Dontrelle Willis 2 (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Dontrelle Willis 114-66, Matt Herges 10-6, Randy Messenger 10-5, Renyel Pinto 42-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dontrelle Willis 6-3, Matt Herges 1-0
Batters Faced - Dontrelle Willis 29, Matt Herges 2, Randy Messenger 3, Renyel Pinto 9
Washington Nationals
Alfonso Soriano, LF4110125 .290
Felipe Lopez, SS4110125 .269
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B3320211 .291
Nick Johnson, 1B3010212 .294
Austin Kearns, RF3021200 .273
Alex Escobar, CF2012114 .380
Damian Jackson, 2B3000012 .207
   a- Marlon Anderson, PH-2B2000003 .268
Brandon Harper, C2010002 .500
   b- Daryle Ward, PH0000100 .322
    Brian Schneider, PR-C0000000 .228
Ramon Ortiz, P2000101 .091
    Micah Bowie, P0000000 .000
   c- Luis Matos, PH1000013 .206
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Totals2959311928 
a-lined out for Jackson in the 7th
b-walked for Harper in the 7th
c-struck out for Bowie in the 7th
Batting
2B - Alfonso Soriano (29, Willis), Brandon Harper (1, Willis)
SF - Alex Escobar 2 (2)
RBI - Austin Kearns (59), Alex Escobar 2 (14)
CS - Austin Kearns (3, 2nd base by Willis/Olivo)
Team LOB - 14
Fielding
E - Felipe Lopez (20, )
Washington Nationals
Ramon Ortiz (W,9-9) 6.2821060 4.60
Micah Bowie (H,5) 0.1000100 1.37
Jon Rauch (H,11) 1000000 3.08
Chad Cordero (S,20) 1100020 3.44
HBP - Uggla (by Ramon Ortiz)
WP - Ramon Ortiz (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Ramon Ortiz 105-71, Micah Bowie 14-6, Jon Rauch 17-13, Chad Cordero 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ramon Ortiz 7-7, Micah Bowie 1-1
Batters Faced - Ramon Ortiz 29, Micah Bowie 3, Jon Rauch 3, Chad Cordero 4
Game Information
Attendance - 21390
Game Time - 3:17
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Jim Reynolds