July 4, 2005

Willis first in NL to 13 wins

FLUSHING, NY (Sports Network) - Dontrelle Willis pitched athree-hit shutout for his National League-leading 13th win, asthe Florida Marlins beat the New York Mets 3-0 in the rubbermatch of a three-game series.

Willis (13-3) retired 26 of the final 28 batters he facedand finished with seven strikeouts -- bouncing back from a lossin his last outing to tie Jon Garland of the Chicago White Soxfor the major league lead in victories.

The side-arming southpaw retired 10 straight batters aftersurrendering back- to-back singles and a walk with one out inthe first inning. Chris Woodward ended the streak with atwo-out double in the fourth, and Willis set down the next 13hitters before he beaned Mike Cameron with a pitch to start theninth inning.

Cameron never made it past second base, as Willis got threequick outs to complete his fifth complete game of the seasonand fourth shutout. He has nine complete games and six shutoutsin his career.

"I was just trying to keep a good rhythm going," Willissaid, adding, "I got some key outs, some quick outs."

Juan Pierre and Alex Gonzalez each had two hits and a runscored for the Marlins, who have won eight of their last 11games. Florida stopped New York's series winning streak atthree.

Pierre led off the game with a bunt single, stole secondbase and scored to give Florida a 1-0 lead when Mets secondbaseman Miguel Cairo made a throwing error on Luis Castillo'sinfield single.

Willis used consecutive strikeouts to escape hisbases-loaded jam in the bottom of the first, and he singled andscored on a passed ball in the third inning to give the Marlinsa 2-0 advantage.

The Florida starter also walked in the game.

"I always take pride in swinging the bat," Willis said."When I have to sit on the bench in the hardest time for me."

Florida manufactured another run against Mets starterVictor Zambrano in the seventh inning to take a 3-0 lead.Gonzalez led off with a single, moved to second on a wildpitch, took third base on Pierre's sacrifice bunt and scored onCastillo's sac fly to center field.

Zambrano (4-7) took the loss in eight decent innings,giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck outone.

"What can you do? He's throwing well, we just couldn't getany runs for him," said Mets catcher Mike Piazza. Last updated:July 3, 2005 at 9:19 PM

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