Willis ends long winless skid as Marlins beat Arizona 14-5
MIAMI (AP)—Mired in the longest winless streak of his career, Dontrelle Willis was desperate for run support.
So the Florida Marlins scored 14 times Tuesday night.
Willis earned his first win since May 29, striking out 11 in seven innings and letting the Marlins’ bats do the rest in a 14-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“I’ll take it,” Willis said. “Everybody needs a win. I’m happy I was able to contribute today.”
Willis (8-12) had gone 0-7 over his past 13 starts. His teammates came to the rescue, building a 14-1 lead by the time he took the mound in the fifth inning.
“Dontrelle pitched well, and we gave him an opportunity to settle down,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “A win obviously is big for him—to take that stuff off his back.”
Byung-Hyun Kim (6-6) lasted only 17 pitches in his second start for the Diamondbacks since they claimed him off waivers from Florida. He retired one batter and gave up four runs, three earned, hiking his ERA with Arizona to 23.62.
“He is what he is, and we got to him early,” Gonzalez said.
The short outing taxed the Arizona bullpen, and infielder Augie Ojeda made his pitching debut with a perfect eighth inning.
“I’ve always wanted to do it,” Ojeda said. “As tough as it was with this blowout, it kind of cheered up the guys.”
Arizona manager Bob Melvin declined to say whether Kim will remain in the rotation. The Diamondbacks, who began the series with the best record in the NL, lost for only the fifth time in their past 22 games.
Miguel Cabrera drove in three runs and hit his 29th homer, and Mike Jacobs added his ninth homer for Florida. NL batting leader Hanley Ramirez went 3-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, matching the longest of his career.
Jacobs had three of the Marlins’ 14 hits. Their run total matched a season high. Trying to stay out of last place in the NL East, Florida has won four of its past five games.
Willis trailed 1-0 after facing one batter. Chris Young homered to start the game, then hit his 21st homer to begin the fifth.
Otherwise, the Marlins’ left-hander looked like the old Willis. He allowed 10 hits but no walks and only three runs, and his strikeout total was a season high for Florida.
Willis twice struck out the side, including in the second inning when he gave up three singles but escaped the bases-loaded jam.
“He came through when it mattered,” Young said. “Solo shots don’t really affect the game too much.”
Willis also contributed to the offensive outburst. He reached on an infield single in the third, beating the throw with a headfirst slide, and scored Florida’s 13th run on a wild pitch.
He shrugged off the suggestion that ending the winless streak gave him a psychological boost.
“I always persevere through everything,” he said. “I always felt like I had a good mentality about it.”
Ramirez doubled to start the Florida first, then scored when Kim made a throwing error on Alejandro De Aza’s sacrifice bunt. Cabrera doubled home a run and Josh Willingham hit an RBI single. Following a flyout and a walk, Matt Treanor singled home a run to make it 4-1 and knock out Kim.
Florida added four runs in the second off Edgar Gonzalez. Ramirez reached on an infield single and scored on De Aza’s double. Cabrera hit a two-run homer, and one batter later Jacobs homered.
Arizona newcomer Joe Kennedy allowed six runs while getting only one out in the fourth. He hit three batters, walked in a run, threw a wild pitch to let in another run and gave up a two-run single to Ramirez.
The start of the game was delayed 35 minutes by rain. … De Aza has hit in 14 of his 15 games this season, including all six since coming off the disabled list. … The Diamondbacks are 3-11 in their past five visits to Miami. … Ojeda became the third Diamondbacks position player to pitch. … Arizona rookie Justin Upton singled in the second, then struck out four times.