Archive for Thursday, August 18, 2005

Willis fires fifth shutout of season

Marlins ace tosses five-hitter, delivers two-run double in 6-0 victory over Padres

August 18, 2005


— Dontrelle Willis needed only one hour, 55 minutes to pitch his fifth shutout of the season, which made it a long night for San Diego.

With a five-hitter and a two-run double, Willis helped the Florida Marlins beat the Padres, 6-0, Wednesday night.

The Marlins shook a hitting slump and scored all their runs in the first two innings against Woody Williams. Carlos Delgado hit his 23rd home run, Florida's third in the past 12 games.

Willis (16-8) struck out three, walked one and benefited from three double plays. He threw 109 pitches on an 89-degree night.

"He's as good as anybody," San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. "We aren't the first team he has shut out this year."

Willis leads the major leagues in shutouts and is tied with St. Louis' Chris Carpenter for the most complete games with six. Only Carpenter (17-4) has more wins.

The Marlins' high-kicking left-hander has allowed only two earned runs in 37 innings over his past five starts, an earned-run average of 0.49.

"The guy has been one of the best pitchers in the league," manager Jack McKeon said. "He loves to compete and loves to play the game. He kept his pitches to a minimum, and as usual he comes up with a key hit that breaks the game open. He's the whole package."

Willis said his double was a bigger thrill than the shutout. He lined a hanging curve over the shortstop's head to put Florida ahead, 4-0, in the second inning.

"I'm just swinging," said Willis, who's batting .239. "To be able to get a big hit and put that much pressure on the pitcher is key."

Florida trails NL wild-card leaders Houston and Philadelphia by 11â2 games. San Diego fell a game below .500 but remained atop the NL West - the latest a division leader has had a losing record.

Brewers 2, Rockies 0

Denver - Chris Capuano allowed six hits over seven innings and drove in both runs to lead Milwaukee over Colorado. Capuano (13-8), Dana Eveland, Jose Capellan and Derrick Turnbow combined for the 29th shutout in the 11 years Coors Field has been open. Turnbow pitched the ninth for his 26th save.

Cardinals 5, Diamondbacks 0

St. Louis - Mark Mulder threw a five-hitter for his second shutout of the season, and John Mabry hit a two-run homer, helping St. Louis beat Arizona. The Cardinals are 76-44 and passed the White Sox (74-44) for the best record in the major leagues.

Giants 3, Reds 2

Cincinnati - Noah Lowry pitched a season-high 81â3 innings, drove in the tying run and scored the go-ahead run as San Francisco beat Cincinnati. Lowry left the game for an undisclosed reason after striking out Ken Griffey, Jr., to start the ninth. Scott Eyre relieved and struck out Adam Dunn then gave way to LaTroy Hawkins, who recorded the final out for his sixth save, second with the Giants.

Cubs 4, Astros 2

Houston - Nomar Garciaparra homered one inning before leaving the game because of a stiff lower back, and starter Carlos Zambrano homered and went 81â3 innings in Chicago's victory over Houston. Garciaparra was said to be day-to-day after hitting his second homer of the season and then leaving in the fifth inning.

Phillies 4, Nationals 3

Philadelphia - Jon Lieber pitched six strong innings, and Bobby Abreu hit a two-run double, leading Philadelphia over Washington. The victory moved the Phillies into a tie with Houston atop the NL wild-card race, and Washington remained a half-game behind. Lieber (12-10) allowed two runs and three hits to win his third straight start after losing six of seven decisions.

Mets 5, Pirates 1

New York - Carlos Beltran scored twice in his return from a frightening injury, sparking Tom Glavine and New York over Pittsburgh. David Wright and Jose Offerman each hit two-run singles for the Mets, who learned Wednesday that catcher Mike Piazza would miss at least a few games because of a broken bone in his left hand after being hit by a foul ball Tuesday.

Braves 10, Dodgers 2

Atlanta - Jeff Francoeur homered, tripled and threw out a runner from right field, leading Atlanta. Andruw Jones hit his major-league-leading 38th homer, and Tim Hudson went eight strong innings for the Braves.


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