Marlins 8, Phillies 5

Saturday, April 7th 2007, 9:14 pm
By: News On 6

MIAMI (AP) Dontrelle Willis pitched 6 innings for his second victory in as many starts, and Josh Willingham drove in 4 runs with his first homer, a triple and a double to help the Florida Marlins beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-5 on Saturday night.

Willingham had hits in his first 3 at-bats and batted in the 7th needing a single to become the first player to hit for the cycle in the Marlins' 15-year history. He fouled off 5 2-strike pitches from Ryan Madson, then struck out swinging.

Willis (2-0) allowed 3 runs -- all on Jimmy Rollins' inside-the-park homer -- and struck out 9. He improved to 11-1 in April with an ERA of 2.40.

Jorge Julio, who blew a save Wednesday in his lone previous appearance with the Marlins, had another shaky outing. He gave up an RBI double to Chase Utley and balked in a run.

Ryan Howard, who set a Phillies record with 58 homers last year, went 0-5 with 3 strikeouts, dropping his average to .158.

Nursing a 4-3 lead, Willis retired Utley and Howard after giving up a 1-out double and walk in the 5th. Willis escaped again in the 6th, pitching around consecutive singles to start the inning.

Howard struck out with a runner at 2nd to end the 7th. He is 0-10 with runners in scoring position and has no RBIs.

Philadelphia's Brett Myers (0-1) gave up 8 hits -- 6 for extra bases -- and 6 runs in 4 1-3 innings.

The game drew 32,419 fans, many of them brandishing white Marlins flags distributed in a giveaway promotion.

The stands became a sea of waving flags with 2 out in the 3rd. Cabrera doubled to score Willis, who had walked. Mike Jacobs also doubled, and Willingham tripled to put Florida ahead 4-3.

Cabrera walked, Jacobs doubled and Willingham hit a 2-run double to knock out Myers in the 5th.

Willis retired the first 6 batters before Aaron Rowand singled to start the 3rd. Carlos Ruiz also singled, and following a force-out at 3rd, Rollins hit a liner to center fielder Alejandro De Aza's right.

The rookie made a diving attempt to cut the ball off, but it scooted under him to the wall, forcing left fielder Willingham to retrieve it near the 434-foot sign. Rollins kept running and slid home ahead of the relay throw for his third inside-the-park home run and his third homer this year.

Willingham homered leading off the second. De Aza, who has a hit in every game, went 2-4 and doubled in the eighth for his first career RBI. He scored on a double by pinch-hitter Jason Wood.