Willis (1-6, 4.93 ERA) has lost his last two starts and is 0-6 since beating Washington on April 14. The left-hander, though, has pitched well in his last three outings, allowing six earned runs in 23 innings.
He gave up two earned runs and seven hits in six innings in a 7-4 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday, and receives the fewest run support in the league with 2.99 a start.
“I’ve been able to keep the games close lately, (as) opposed to earlier in the year when I was giving up those runs,” Willis said. “I feel if I continue to do that, I will be successful.”
Willis has surfaced in trade rumors involving larger-market teams.
“I think he’s holding up great,” Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. “I think frustration does get to him—it would get to any pitcher—but he has been pitching better.”
The 24-year-old Willis is 1-0 in two career starts against the Rockies, allowing three runs and 12 hits with four walks and 17 strikeouts over 13 innings.
The Marlins (17-34) had a chance for a three-game sweep Wednesday, but were shut down by Jason Schmidt and two relievers in a 5-1 loss to San Francisco. Miguel Cabrera had half of Florida’s six hits to raise his batting average to .355. He is 15-for-27 (.556) with three homers and 11 RBIs during a season-high eight-game hitting streak, and has a .361 average with three homers and 10 RBIs in nine games at Coors Field.
“It was the first time all our guys have seen (Schmidt) except Cabrera,” Girardi said after his team completed a 6-3 homestand. “That usually favors the pitcher.”
The Rockies (27-26) are hoping a return to Colorado helps end their offensive struggles after they completed a 2-7 road trip with a 3-2 loss to San Diego on Wednesday. Todd Helton hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning for Colorado, which scored just six runs in its seven losses on the trip.
“It’s always good to go back home, sleep in your own bed, and hopefully to win some ballgames,” Helton said. “I don’t pay that much attention to who we’re playing and where we’re playing. I’m just concerned about winning. I don’t worry about records on the road and all that stuff. I don’t get caught up in all that. I worry about too much stupid stuff as it is.”
Josh Fogg (3-3, 4.45) will start Friday for Colorado, which is 13-10 at Coors Field and beginning a nine-game homestand. Fogg is 1-3 in his last eight starts and took the loss at San Francisco on Saturday, when he gave up four runs and five hits with five walks in five innings.
The right-hander is 4-2 with a 3.25 ERA in eight career starts against the Marlins.