Willis, who went 3-2 with a 2.06 ERA in May, has fared well in June during his three-year career. He’s 7-2 with a 2.90 ERA in 12 June starts, including a 5-0 mark during his rookie campaign in 2003.
Willis became the first nine-game winner in the majors, pitching eight innings in the Marlins’ 6-3 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday. He allowed a season-high nine hits, but was still good enough to help the Marlins beat Pittsburgh for only the fifth time in 19 meetings.
“There’s a reason he’s 9-2,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Ibanez continued his torrid hitting with his eighth home run as Seattle to beat the Marlins 4-3 on Tuesday.
“Winning is a feeling, and we feel that in our dugout right now,” said Ibanez, who is hitting .400 (16-for-40) since May 26.
Suzuki went 1-for-4 for Seattle to move within five hits of 1,000 for his career. The Japanese-born outfielder has 995 career hits in 690 games. The last player to collect 1,000 hits in less than 700 games was Chuck Klein in 1933. Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hits leader, had 899 hits in his first 760 games.
Florida went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position Tuesday, giving it a .227 average (27-for-119) in that situation over the last 13 games.
“We need to find a way to knock some runs in,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “That’s the same thing I’ve said the last three games.”