Rowand goes deep to keep Willis winless in 13 starts in Phillies’ 6-4 win over Marlins
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Some closers hear the music of heavy metal bands or the ominous tolling of bells as the bullpen door swings open and they jog to the mound to finish off another game.
Brett Myers got KC and the Sunshine Band. And that is not the way, uh huh, uh huh, he likes it.
Finding an appropriate theme song for Myers was about the only thing Philadelphia needed to worry about on another sticky night.
“It’s the perfect scenario,” Myers said of the late-inning workload. “It’s how we get there, it doesn’t matter who saves the game.
With what was left of a sweaty crowd poised to celebrate another Phillies win, Myers entered the ninth to the popular 1970s disco hit “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty.” The choice infuriated Myers, who has yet to pick a song, and he took his anger out on Florida by striking out the side to end the game.
“It (ticked) me off. Can’t you tell?” Myers said.
Maybe Willis (7-12) needs some Village People to shake him out of his funk.
Not even his two-run homer could save the former 20-game winner from extending the longest losing streak of his career. Willis is 0-9 with four no-decisions while the Marlins have gone 3-10 in his outings since his last victory on May 29 at the Chicago Cubs.
“I’m still playing with the same intensity and I’m having fun out there,” Willis said. “I don’t ever want to change.”
Willis’ seventh career homer staked the Marlins to a 2-1 lead in the third. Then the Marlins wilted in the 95-degree temperature, while the Phillies kept pace in their hunt for the NL East and wild-card lead.
Lohse gave up Miguel Cabrera’s 28th homer, but stayed away from the line drives that knocked him out of his last start. He left after one inning in his Phillies debut with a bruised right forearm after he was hit by a liner.
He exited this one after 6 1-3 innings and the Phillies holding a 6-3 lead. He gave up six hits, walked three and struck out three to help Philadelphia win its third straight game.
“As long as you stay out of the big inning, I think you’ve done your job,” Lohse said.
Much like Willis did an inning earlier, Lohse helped his own cause with the bat in the third. He poked an RBI single to right that put the Phillies up 3-2. Jimmy Rollins, who hit a sacrifice fly in the second, added a run-scoring single to center to make it 4-2.
No surprise that Lohse, acquired in a trade deadline deal from Cincinnati, drove home a run on a hit. Phillies pitchers lead baseball with 41 hits and have 12 RBIs.
Lohse said he heard some good-natured ribbing from his teammates once he finished the first inning without adding more bruises to his arm.
“For his first time pitching here, he did pretty good,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
Willis, who gave up five runs in 5 1-3 innings, worked his way out of some jams early to at least give himself a shot at that elusive eighth victory. The Phillies left 14 runners on base, including the bases loaded in the first and at least two on in every inning except the fifth and eighth.
Willis was chased in the sixth after Ryan Howard hit a long single to left— the Phillies MVP thought the ball would hook foul and stood at home plate before sprinting to first.
Justin Miller came in, and Rowand hit Miller’s second pitch deep into the Phillies bullpen for his 18th homer of the season and a 6-3 lead. Bullpen coach Ramon Henderson stuffed the ball in his pants pocket for safe keeping.
Marlins CF Alejandro De Aza was activated from the disabled list after missing nearly four months with an ankle injury. De Aza, a rookie, started on opening day and batted .303 in nine games before being sidelined. RHP Carlos Martinez was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque and OF Joe Borchard was designated for assignment. He batted .196 in 85 games. RHP Logan Kensing, trying to return from elbow ligament replacement surgery, was activated from the DL and optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque. … 2B Chase Utley (broken hand) will see another specialist on Monday. … Marlins 1B Mike Jacobs sent a team record for most consecutive at-bats without a hit (31).