Willis allowed seven hits in his second complete game of the season and Pierre went 4-for-5 with an inside-the-park homer to help Florida beat the Detroit Tigers 9-2 Sunday.
Pierre, the Marlins’ leadoff man, and No. 2 hitter Castillo were a combined 7-for-10 with two walks, six runs scored, three RBIs and a stolen base. Pierre had a walk, four runs scored and a steal, and Castillo was 3-for-5, with a walk, two runs scored and two RBIs.
“Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo got on base and created havoc, which is what we didn’t want them to do,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said.
Florida avoided being swept in the three-game series and snapped Detroit’s four-game winning streak.
Willis (6-3) struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter in his fourth career complete game.
“I just tried to keep putting zeros up. I try not to look ahead,” Willis said. “You obviously have a big task ahead of you, so I just tried to keep them at bay every inning.”
He did much more that that.
“He threw his off-speed pitches for strikes,” Detroit’s Rondell White said. “He threw his fastballs for strikes and he’s got that motion.”
Tigers starter Jason Johnson (4-7) allowed four runs and eight hits in three-plus innings.
Florida jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first on Castillo’s RBI infield single. It scored Pierre, who bunted for a single, stole second and went to third when catcher Ivan Rodriguez’s throw skipped into center field for an error.
The Marlins added three in the third on a bases-loaded walk by Miguel Cabrera, a sacrifice fly by Mike Lowell and a run-scoring double by Hee Seop Choi. Florida loaded the bases on singles by Matt Treanor, Pierre and a bunt single by Castillo.
“They (Pierre and Castillo) would just slap the ball and start running and it wears you down a little bit,” Johnson said.
Pierre hit his inside-the-park solo home run with two outs in the sixth. His line drive to right eluded Craig Monroe, who dived for it, and the ball rolled all the way to the fence. The speedy Pierre easily circled the bases for his first home run of the season.
“I figured it was a big outfield and when he left his feet and didn’t come up with it, it was probably one of my best chances of getting an inside-the-parker,” Pierre said. “I was going to run all the way through no matter what.”
Detroit got two in the sixth on Carlos Guillen’s RBI single and Rodriguez’s groundout, which brought in a run.
Florida added four in the eighth on Castillo’s run-scoring single, JeffConine’s bases-loaded walk and Damion Easley’s two-run double.
Lowell is 0-for-25 and has four hits in his last 44 at-bats. … Marlins SS Alex Gonzalez was ejected by plate umpire Andy Fletcher after striking out swinging to end the third inning. It appeared Gonzalez was hit on the hand by a pitch earlier in the at-bat. He argued and manager Jack McKeon also came out to protest. When Gonzalez struck out, he slammed his bat to the ground. … Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to 12 games (25-for-50) and is 27-for-56 in his last 14 contests. … It was Pierre’s second four-hit gameof the season and his career.